How to Get a COVID-19 Booster
Should I get an updated COVID-19 vaccine booster?
If you have received the primary series and it’s been at least 2 months since your last COVID-19 vaccine, then, yes! COVID-19 booster vaccines can help protect against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. The virus also changes over time and after the initial vaccine series, your immunity naturally decreases over time so you may lose some of that protection. Therefore, it is recommended to get a booster to increase your protection.
What age groups are eligible for COVID-19 boosters?
Updated (bivalent) boosters became available for:
· People aged 12 years and older on September 2, 2022
· People aged 5 to 11 years on October 12, 2022
· Children aged 6 months to 4 years who completed the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine primary series on December 9, 2022
People who are immunocompromised may have different recommendations. Please consult your physician.
COVID-19 vaccine and booster recommendations may be updated as scientists continue monitor the latest COVID-19 data.
When should I get my updated booster?
COVID-19 vaccine recommendations vary based on your age, the vaccine you first received, and the length of time since your last dose.
Use the Find Out When to Get A Booster button on the CDC website to calculate when to get your booster or consult your physician or pharmacist.
· For everyone aged 5 years and older if it has been at least 2 months since your last dose.
· For children aged 6 months to 4 years who completed the Moderna primary series and if it has been at least 2 months since their last dose.
There is not a booster recommendation for children aged 6 months to 4 years who got the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine primary series.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccine is safe and your best protection against the virus. It is effective in reducing your risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Vaccination remains the best defense to protect yourself and those around you.
Why are the updated COVID-19 boosters called “bivalent”?
The boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against two types of the virus that causes COVID-19: (1) the original virus that causes COVID-19 and (2) the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.A. strains. The bivalent COVID-19 vaccine may also be referred to as “updated” COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.
Can I mix and match my updated COVID-19 vaccine booster?
Yes. There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. An mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) is preferred in most situations for the first booster. The second booster must be an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. If you prefer a vaccine type check vaccines.gov to find a location that is offering your preferred COVID-19 vaccine.
Should I get an updated COVID-19 booster after I have recovered from COVID-19?
Yes. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you have recovered from COVID-19 infection provides added protection. You can wait up to 90 days after you recover from COVID-19 before getting your updated booster if you want. The infection could give you some protection, but it won’t last very long. If you’re not sure, you should talk with your doctor.
Do I need an appointment to get my updated COVID-19 booster?
No. You do not need an appointment at your local health department. Walk-ins are available at all local health departments. Appointments are available for those who would prefer to schedule an appointment. You can also visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccine provider offering your preferred vaccine near you.