COVID-19-Vaccine-Boosters COVID-19 Booster Vaccines

COVID-19 Booster Vaccines

Updates as of June 20, 2022:

  • Aligned with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant emergency use authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months.


Why:

Based on the continued effectiveness of the vaccine to maintain strong immunity against severe illness and death, the FDA has:

  • Recommended a first booster dose for children aged 5-11.
  • Strengthened their recommendation for a second booster dose for people aged 50 and older and people aged 12 and older who are immunocompromised. 
  • Limited the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 18 and older who cannot receive other COVID-19 vaccines due to medical reasons, have limited access to the other vaccines, or who elect to receive the J&J because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Please see below for a brief description of who is eligible. For a more detailed outline including any special situations for those who are immunocompromised, please see the COVID-19 Vaccination Schedule.

What:

Primary series:

  • Not Immunocompromised people 5 and older: 2-dose series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Not Immunocompromised people 6 months to 4 years: 3-dose series of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine or 2-dose series of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Immunocompromised people: 3-dose series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine and an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine.

    Additional dose: A subsequent dose of vaccine administered to people who were less likely to mount a protective immune response after initial vaccination. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and who received Johnson & Johnson  COVID-19 Vaccine for their primary series should receive an additional dose.

    Booster dose: A subsequent dose of vaccine administered to enhance or restore protection which might have waned over time after primary series vaccination.

    People are considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised if they:
    • Are receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood,
    • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system,
    • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years
    • Are taking medicine to suppress the immune system,
    • Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome),
    • Have advanced or untreated HIV infection,
    • Have active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response.

Talk to your healthcare provider about COVID-19 vaccination and your medical condition.

Who:

Aged 6 months to 4 years:

  • No recommendation for any booster doses at this time.

Aged 5-11:

  • Not Immunocompromised People in This Age Group:
    • Should receive a first booster dose of Pfizer at least five months after receiving their second dose of Pfizer.
    • No recommendation for a second booster at this time.
  • Immunocompromised People in This Age Group:
    • Should receive an additional dose of Pfizer if at least four weeks after receiving their second dose of Pfizer.
    • Should receive a first booster dose of Pfizer if at least three months after receiving their additional (third) dose of Pfizer.
    • No recommendation for a second booster at this time.

Aged 12-17

  • Not Immunocompromised People in This Age Group:
    • Should receive a first booster dose of Pfizer at least five months after receiving their second dose of Pfizer.
    • No recommendation for a second booster at this time.
  • Immunocompromised People in This Age Group:
    • Should receive an additional dose of Pfizer if at least four weeks after receiving their second dose of Pfizer.
    • Should receive a first booster dose of Pfizer if at least three months after receiving their additional (third) dose of Pfizer.
    • Should receive a second booster dose of Pfizer if at least four months after receiving their first booster dose.

Aged 18-49

  • Not Immunocompromised People in This Age Group:
    • Should receive a first booster dose of their choice if the minimum time has passed since completing their primary vaccine series:
      • Pfizer or Moderna - Received second dose at least five months ago.
      • Johnson & Johnson - Received single dose at least two months ago.
    • No recommendation for a second booster at this time if mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) was taken as the primary series.
    • May receive a second booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna if a person received two doses of Johnson & Johnson and at least four months has passed since the second dose.
  • Immunocompromised People in This Age Group:
    • Should receive an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna if at least four weeks after receiving their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.
    • Should receive an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna if at least four weeks after receiving their dose of Johnson & Johnson.
    • Should receive a first booster dose of their choice if the minimum time has passed since completing their primary vaccine series:
      • Pfizer or Moderna - Received additional (third) dose at least three months ago.
      • Johnson & Johnson - Received additional (second) dose at least two months ago.
    • Should receive a second booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna four months after completing their first booster dose.

Aged 50+

  • Not Immunocompromised People in This Age Group:
    • Should receive a first booster dose of their choice if at least two months after receiving their Johnson & Johnson dose or if at least five months after receiving their Pfizer of Moderna primary series.
    • Should receive a second booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna if at least four months after receiving their first booster dose.
  • Immunocompromised People in This Age Group:
    • Should receive an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna if at least four weeks after receiving their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.
    • Should receive an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna if at least four weeks after receiving their dose of Johnson & Johnson.
    • Should receive a first booster dose of their choice if the minimum time has passed since completing their primary vaccine series:
      • Pfizer or Moderna - Received additional (third) dose at least three months ago.
      • Johnson & Johnson - Received additional (second) dose at least two months ago.
    • Should receive a second booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna if at least four months after receiving their first booster dose.
  • Based on CDC and FDA guidance, use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is limited to people aged 18 and older who cannot receive other COVID-19 vaccines due to medical reasons, have limited access to the other vaccines, or who elect to receive the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Where:

Booster doses are available in many places, including healthcare providers, clinics and neighborhood pharmacies. Californians can visit the My Turn webpage (MyTurn.ca.gov) or call 833-422-4255 to make an appointment or find a walk-in vaccine clinic near you.

 

Originally published on March 2, 2022