The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended booster vaccine shots for ages 12 and up to help strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19. Teens who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can now get their booster 5 months after their second shot. Ages 12 - 17 can only receive the Pfizer COVID-19 booster, and parental consent is required. Adults 18 and older can receive any brand of COVID-19 vaccine for their booster shot. The CDC recommends a third dose of Pfizer for children 5 to 11 who have immunocompromised immune systems.
Anyone over 50 or at high risk, as well as those 18 or older who were vaccinated more than two months ago with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should get a booster dose now. Additionally, fully vaccinated people who received their first COVID-19 vaccine outside of the U.S. or in clinical trials with a brand not currently authorized can now receive a Pfizer booster shot when they are eligible.
Individuals 18 and older can receive any brand of COVID-19 vaccine for their booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. Kids 12 to 18 can only receive the Pfizer COVID-19 booster, and parental consent is required Limited preliminary evidence suggests that booster doses of one of the two mRNA vaccines—Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech—more effectively raise antibody levels than a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Booster doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines are free and widely available at a variety of locations. Community members should visit vaccines.gov or call (919) 913-8088 to find and schedule an appointment.