Massachusetts Medical Society: COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its booster recommendations. CDC recommends COVID-19 boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older, if eligible.

Updated Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 bivalent boosters are now authorized by the FDA and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pfizer and BioNTech's shot is authorized for people as young as 12, and Moderna's for those 18 and older. People can receive the updated shots if it has been at least two months since they completed their primary vaccine series or their most recent booster. For people ages 12 years and older, the only authorized mRNA booster is the updated (bivalent) booster.

  • Novavax is not authorized for use as a booster dose at this time.

  • For individuals who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the CDC now recommends booster shots at 5 months after the completion of the primary series for those aged 5 and older.

  • For individuals who received the Moderna vaccine, the CDC recommends booster shots at 5 months after the completion of the primary series for those aged 18 and older. Boosters are not recommended at this time for any children or teens who have completed the Moderna COVID-19 primary series.

  • For people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) booster at 2 months after receiving the initial vaccination for those aged 18 and older. Although mRNA vaccines are preferred, J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations.

  • CDC’s recommendations now allow for mix and match dosing for booster shots. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred. Read more about COVID-19 booster shots.

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.

Use CDC’s COVID-19 booster tool to learn if and when you can get boosters to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccine and booster recommendations may be updated as CDC continues to use the latest data related to safety and how well vaccines work, including over time and against new variants.

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