COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose: Who Should Get It? And How?
National Healthcare Leaders recently called for booster doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines for some individuals. Does that mean the vaccine isn’t doing its job? Well, the answer to that would be completely ‘no’. If you look at the data, vaccinated people are less likely to prevent severe disease or be hospitalized.
With COVID-19 cases continuing to increase due to the Delta variant, COVID-19 vaccines are more important than ever to prevent serious illness and reduce COVID-19 in our communities. For specific populations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently recommended a second dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a third dose of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Can I get a booster?
Research has shown that young and healthy people have excellent immunity months after vaccination. That’s why only certain groups are eligible for a booster dose right now.
Johnson & Johnson booster doses are recommended for people who were vaccinated at least two months ago and who are:
Ages 18 and older
Pfizer booster doses are recommended for people who were vaccinated at least six months ago and who are:
Age 16 and older
Moderna booster doses are recommended for people who were vaccinated at least six months ago and who are:
Age 18 and older
What’s considered an underlying medical condition?
Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
Stroke or vascular diseases that affect blood flow to the brain
Lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, and cystic fibrosis
Dementia or Alzheimer’s
Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
Obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m)
Pregnancy or recent pregnancy
Smoking, current or former
Substance use disorders
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
If you are getting a Moderna booster and have a condition or take a medicine that suppresses your immune system, you may need a full dose of Moderna for your booster rather than the half-dose booster. Talk to your doctor about what dose is best for you.
I want a booster shot but I got a different vaccine. Can I mix and match my vaccines?
Yes. The CDC recommendation now allows mixing-and-matching of COVID-19 vaccines, meaning you can get a different type of vaccine booster than the type of vaccine you originally received. Talk to your healthcare team about this option if you have questions.