The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended booster vaccine shots for ages 5 and up to help strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19. Kids ages 5 and up who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can now get their booster 5 months after their second shot. Ages 5 - 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.