Massachusetts Medical Society: COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

Updated bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 boosters are now authorized by the FDA and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for all eligible individuals.

  • Children ages 6 months through 5 years who previously completed a Moderna primary series are eligible to receive a Moderna bivalent booster 2 months after their final primary series dose.
  • Children ages 6 months through 4 years who are currently completing a Pfizer-BioNTech primary series will receive a Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine as their third primary dose. Children 6 months through 4 years of age who have already completed their three-dose primary series with the original (monovalent) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will not be eligible for a booster dose of an updated bivalent vaccine at this time.

The Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine continues to be authorized for administration at least two months following completion of primary or booster vaccination in children down to 5 years of age.

The monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized as boosters. Only the updated/bivalent COVID-19 vaccines are authorized as boosters. Both the Moderna and Pfizer monovalent COVID-19 Vaccines continue to be authorized for primary series administration in individuals six months of age and older.

Novavax monovalent COVID-19 boosters are now available to people ages 18 years and older if they meet all three of these requirements:

  1. they have completed a primary series vaccination AND
  2. they have not previously received any COVID-19 booster(s) AND
  3. they cannot or will not receive an updated/bivalent mRNA booster

The monovalent Novavax booster dose is administered at least 6 months after completion of any primary series and cannot be used in people who previously received any booster dose(s).

Read the updated CDC Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States.

  • For people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends an updated bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) booster at 2 months after receiving the initial vaccination for those aged 18 and older.

  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have specific recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.

Learn more from the CDC about staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations including boosters, and use CDC’s COVID-19 booster tool to learn when you can get a booster.

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