There has been a lot of information in the media concerning the COVID vaccine booster shot. It can be difficult to get a clear picture of who is eligible and what kind of shot is available. Based on the information from the CDC, Walgreens recently posted a short list of answers to these important questions. Here is the basic information you need to know:
Who is eligible and when?
The CDC recommends a booster dose for fully vaccinated people who received their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago. Health and eligibility requirements include:
- Ages 65+
- Long-term care facility residents ages 18+
- Individuals ages 50-64 with underlying medical conditions*
- Individuals ages 18-49 with underlying medical conditions*, based on individual benefit and risk
- Individuals ages 18-64 who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupation or institutional setting, such as healthcare and essential workers, based on individual benefit and risk
- *See this webpage from the CDC for additional information
Why should I get a booster?
Like with many vaccines, immunity can decrease over time. A booster shot is designed to continue providing longer-term protection and reduce risk of hospitalization.
What if I got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
Right now, boosters are only recommended for patients who completed their Pfizer vaccine series and meet the current eligibility criteria. Updates on a Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shot will be provided in the future.
It is always good practice to consult your doctor about this or any other medical issue. For additional information about the COVID vaccine booster shot please see this CDC webpage.