COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized booster shots and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued recommendations:

  • Adults 18 years and older with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should receive the booster at least 5 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series.
  • Also, teens 16-17 years old can get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster.
  • For the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

If You Received Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

If you are 18 years or older, you may choose which COVID-19 vaccine you receive as a booster shot, the CDC says. Some people may prefer the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

If You Received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen

If you are 18 years or older, you may choose a mRNA, i.e. Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine you receive as a booster shot, the CDC says. There is no preference for either Pfizer or Moderna. The Johnson and Johnson (Janssen vaccine) is not available as a booster option.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a booster needed?

Data has shown that COVID-19 vaccines may lose some of their effectiveness over time. Boosters provide additional, longer-lasting immunity. New bivalent vaccines from both Moderna and Pfizer have been authorized for use as boosters in all patients 12 years of age and older.

Can I mix and match the type of COVID-19?

Yes. Currently, the CDC recommends either of the approved bivalent boosters (either Pfizer or Moderna) to which you have access. Mixing and matching is allowed. You may not receive the original vaccine formulation as a booster if you are 12 years of age or older.

Is there a difference between the first two shots and the booster shot?

Yes. The first 2 shots are from the original formulation of Pfizer or Moderna, while the booster is a new bivalent formulation of either Pfizer or Moderna. These bivalent boosters (of Moderna and Pfizer) should also be given to anyone receiving the J & J (Janssen) vaccine as the primary series.

Where can I go to receive a booster shot?

Most pharmacies offer the new Moderna and Pfizer bivalent booster shots. Additionally, you can find a location offering bivalent vaccine boosters through the Georgia Department of Public Health website and

Will the booster shot cost anything?

No. Currently, the booster shot, like the COVID-19 vaccine, will not cost anything. This is subject to change based on the determination of the US Government.

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