When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster?
Hopefully, soon. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a booster dose of the mRNA vaccines (either Pfizer or Moderna). You'll be eligible starting this fall if it's been 8 months after you received your second dose of an mRNA vaccine.
Who will be the first people to get a booster dose?
If a booster dose is approved, people who are most at risk are likely to be the first people eligible for a booster. This includes healthcare providers, residents of long-term care facilities, and other older adults.
Why is the United States waiting to start offering COVID-19 vaccine boosters?
Vaccination continues to be highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, COVID-19 constantly evolves. Experts are looking at all available data to understand how well the vaccines are working, including how new variants, like Delta, affect vaccine effectiveness.
Will people who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine need a booster shot?
It is likely that people who received a J&J COVID-19 vaccine will need a booster dose. Because the J&J/Janssen vaccine wasn’t given in the United States until 70 days after the first mRNA vaccine doses (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), the data needed to make this decision aren’t available yet. The data are expected in the coming weeks.
If we need a booster dose, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?
No. COVID-19 vaccines are working very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, with the Delta variant, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. For that reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for a booster shot so vaccinated people maintain protection over the coming months.