What is a booster dose? Why would I need one?
For some viruses, the protection we get from a vaccine starts to wear off over time. An additional dose of the vaccine may be needed to boost your immune response and make sure we're protected from the virus. Boosters are common for many vaccines, like Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis).
COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, but the latest data show that booster doses significantly increase protection against the Omicron variant. The latest CDC recommendations on booster doses help to ensure more people across the U.S. are better protected against COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and boosted if eligible—particularly for groups that are more at risk for severe COVID-19, such as older people and those with underlying medical conditions.
Who is currently eligible for booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine?
- Adults age 50 and older and moderately or severely immunocompromised people are now eligible to get a second Pfizer booster dose at least 4 months after their first booster.
- Anyone who received a J&J/Janssen vaccine for both their primary dose and booster. Also, adults 50 years and older who first received a J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of what type of booster they received.
- a booster shot if it has been more than 5 months since the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
- CDC currently recommends that all adults (age 18+) get a booster shot if vaccinated with J&J/Janssen two or more months ago.
- Children ages 12-17 can receive a booster shot of Pfizer, if it has been at least 5 months since their second dose.
- Moderately or severely immunocompromised children ages 5-11 should receive an additional primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after their second shot.
Learn more about eligibility, safety and more on the CDC website.
How can I get my booster shot?
COVID-19 booster shots are administered anywhere the COVID-19 vaccine is available. Individuals do not need to get their booster shot at the same location they received their initial series.
Visit our Where to Get Vaccinated page to find a list of local clinics offering the COVID-19 vaccines.
Can I get a booster shot and a flu shot at the same time?
Yes, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time.
What is "mixing and matching"?
"Mixing and matching" is getting a different type of COVID-19 booster than the type you received for your initial vaccine series.
The CDC recommends that people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine get a Pfizer or Moderna booster. The CDC advises people who got a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to get the same booster as their initial vaccine, but allows them to mix and match (i.e., get a different COVID-19 booster than their initial vaccine) depending on preference or availability—with the exception of adolescents age 12-17 who are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
If you have questions about your eligibility for booster doses or which booster you should get, speak to your health care provider.