- The COVID-19 booster shot is now available to everyone in the U.S. age 12 and older.
- If you’re over 18, you can mix and match your boosters; those 12-17 can only receive Pfizer boosters.
- You can get a booster shot anywhere the COVID-19 vaccine is available.
On January 3, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed all fully vaccinated people over the age of 12 in the United States to receive a COVID-19 booster shot. This authorization expands the eligibility criteria previously set by the FDA.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of January 11, 2021, more than 76 million Americans had received a booster, With recent FDA and CDC recommendations, this number should rise. The change will give millions of Americans additional protections over the next few months.
A very good report: What will COVID vaccination rates look like by the end of the year?
International SOS senior vice president and global medical director Robert Quigley, MD, told VigorTip that vaccines “have been a key part of recovery from the pandemic, and booster shots are an extension of that momentum and protection — especially as we head into winter, Social distancing will become more complicated.”
The original vaccine series is still very effective in protecting people from severe COVID disease that requires hospitalization. However, boosters are recommended because data show that the effect of the first injection decreases over time. That means Americans may be more vulnerable to breakthrough infections, especially when new virus variants emerge.
“We’ve seen an increase in infections and hospitalizations among those who are not fully vaccinated,” Quigley said. “It has been suggested that the COVID-19 vaccine will lose protection over a long period of time.”
Booster shots protect you and the people you come into contact with in your daily life – some of whom may need extra protection because they are at higher risk for complications if they get sick.
All U.S. adults are now eligible for a COVID booster
Where can I get boosters?
While each state handles vaccine outreach differently, you should be able to find free COVID-19 boosters in the same locations where the original series was offered, such as doctor’s offices, pharmacies, hospitals, schools, and community-sponsored events.
Here’s what to know about getting a COVID booster
Last year, the CDC launched Vaccines.gov to help people find where to get vaccinated. The site allows you to search for vaccination locations by zip code, making it quick and easy to find places in your area that offer boosters by appointment or walk-in.
You can also check your state’s website to find out where a vaccine or booster can be obtained. For example, California offers MyTurn, New York offers the COVID-19 vaccine, and Florida created the Florida COVID-19 Response website to help its citizens find vaccination sites. Your county’s health website may also have additional information.
what does this mean to you
Experts recommend that people get a COVID booster as soon as they qualify. Adults (18+) can “mix and match” different brands of enhancers they receive in their main range. For example, if you were originally vaccinated by J&J, you can safely get a booster from Moderna or Pfizer, and vice versa — however, mRNA vaccines are currently recommended over J&J in most cases.
Children and adolescents ages 12-17 can only receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine booster.
If you got two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine first, you’ll need to wait five months after the second dose to get a booster dose. If you get a one-time J&J vaccine, you can get a booster of your choice after two months.
People 12 years of age and older with certain immunocompromised conditions and all people over 50 years of age who received an initial booster dose of mRNA at least four months ago are eligible for a second booster dose.
Adults who received a primary vaccine and a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine at least four months ago can now receive a second booster dose with the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
You can find dates here.
FDA: It’s OK to Mix and Match COVID Booster Shots
Do boosters have side effects?
The boosters made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson all use the same formula as the main series of injections. However, the dose of Moderna booster is half the original dose.
No matter which booster you receive, you may experience mild side effects similar to those you may experience after your first dose, including:
- Muscle pain
- Soreness at the injection site
What is the difference between a third dose and a COVID booster?
The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means that you may have updated information as you read this article. For the latest updates on COVID-19, visit our Coronavirus news page.