On May 19, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updated COVID-19 vaccination guidance related to booster doses. COVID-19 booster eligibility has been expanded to include everyone ages 5 and older who has received a primary Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series at least five months ago. Additionally, the CDC has strengthened the March 2022 recommendation advising older adults and immunocompromised individuals ages 12 and up to get a second booster dose at least four months after their first.
Everyone ages 5 and up
All individuals ages 5 and up are eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose. This is a change from previous guidance that all individuals ages 12 and up can receive a booster. Children ages 5-11 are recommended to receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination five months after their initial vaccination series.
Individuals 50 years and older who received an initial booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna at least four months ago may choose to receive an additional booster dose to increase their protection against COVID-19. The CDC has strengthened the recommendation for a second booster at least four months after receiving a first booster dose, as people in this age group are at higher risk for severe illness from a COVID-19 infection. This increased risk is especially concerning for those with underlying health conditions.
Individuals aged 12 and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive an additional booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna if they received an initial booster dose at least four months prior. Similar to older adults, this population is at increased risk for severe illness from a COVID-19 infection and may benefit from increased protection. The CDC has strengthened their recommendation for this group to receive a second booster at least four months after an initial booster dose.
J&J/Janssen Vaccine Recipients
Individuals aged 18 and older who received an initial and booster dose of the J&J/Janssen vaccine are now eligible to receive a second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine four months after their J&J/Janssen booster dose. These individuals are now eligible because mRNA vaccines are more effective at protecting against severe illness from COVID-19 infection. For more information on the comparative effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and the J&J/Janssen vaccines, consult this scientific study.
To find a vaccine location near you, use the Department of Health vaccine locator tool.
To determine if you or a community member is eligible for a booster, use the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Tool.