Updated July 1, 2022

The COVID-19 vaccines are very good at preventing severe disease. The first doses provide good protection against severe disease for most people. Boosters temporarily increase protection. 

A booster shot is an additional shot recommended to give longer lasting protection. Many vaccines need boosters after a period of time. 

An additional dose of vaccine is different from a booster. An additional dose is recommended for people who have certain serious medical conditions and need extra doses to get a good immune response.

Who can get  a COVID-19 booster shot? 

Everyone age 12 and older who received the Pfizer vaccine and everyone age 18 and older who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson should get a booster shot. 

Boosters are also authorized for kids 5-11 who received a Pfizer vaccine.

You are eligible for a booster shot once it has been:

  • At least 5 months after receiving the second dose of Pfizer (5 and older) or Moderna (18 and older)
  • At least 3 months after receiving the third dose of Pfizer (5 and older) or Moderna (18 and older) if you are immunocompromised
  • At least 2 months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (18 and older)

Second boosters

Second booster doses are available for some people 4 months after their first booster shot. 

Second boosters are available for people age 12 and up who are immunocompromised and for all adults age 50 and up. Getting a second booster is more important for older adults, people who are immunocompromised, and people with underlying conditions that put them at greater risk of severe COVID-19.

Who should get an additional dose? 

For people who are age 5 and older and who are immunocompromised, an additional dose is recommended at least 28 days after the initial series (two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, one dose of Johnson & Johnson). 

Which brand should I get? 

  • 5-17 year olds must get Pfizer or Moderna. 
  • Ages 18 and up can get any brand, based on availability, however mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are now recommended for most individuals. Johnson & Johnson is an acceptable alternative for individuals who cannot receive an mRNA vaccine, who do not have access to mRNA vaccine, or who otherwise prefer to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  
  • All are effective at preventing severe disease. Find out more.

Where can I get a booster or additional dose? 

To get a booster shot:

Read more about vaccine boosters and additional doses (OHA)