COVID-19 Booster Shots

Who is Eligible for a COVID-19 Booster Shot?

  • People aged 5 and up who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are eligible 5 months after completing the initial vaccination series.
  • People aged 18 and up who received the Moderna vaccine are eligible 5 months after completing the initial vaccination series.
  • People aged 18 and up who received a single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine are eligible for a second vaccine dose, two months after the first shot.
  • Immunocompromised people ages 5-11 should receive a Pfizer booster at least three months after the three-dose primary series (two-dose initial vaccination and a third dose at least 4 weeks later) for a total of four Pfizer doses.

Who is Eligible for a Second COVID-19 Booster Shot?

  • People 50 years and older who received a first COVID-19 booster dose are eligible to receive a second booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least four months after the first booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Immunocompromised people 12 years and older who have received a first booster dose are eligible to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least four months after the first booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna vaccine can be administered to immunocompromised people 18 years and older at least four months after a first booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • For persons 18–49 years of age that received Janssen vaccine as both their primary series dose and booster dose, are eligible to receive a second booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine at least four months after the Janssen booster dose.

Which primary vaccine series did you complete?

PRIMARY VACCINE SERIES COMPLETED

Pfizer-BioNTech or
Comirnaty

You may get a single booster dose if:

It’s been at least 5 months since completing a primary series AND you are age 12+

If eligible, you may get a single booster dose of:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech*
  • Moderna
  • Janssen (J&J)

You may get a second booster dose if:

It’s been at least 4 months since the first booster dose AND you are age 50+ OR age 12+ with certain kinds of immunocompromise

If eligible, you may get a second booster dose of:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech*
  • Moderna

PRIMARY VACCINE SERIES COMPLETED

Moderna or
Spikevax

You may get a single booster dose if:

It’s been at least 5 months since completing a primary series AND you are age 18+

If eligible, you may get a single booster dose of:

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Janssen (J&J)

You may get a second booster dose if:

It’s been at least 4 months since the first booster dose AND you are age 50+ OR age 18+ with certain kinds of immunocompromise

If eligible, you may get a second booster dose of:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna

PRIMARY VACCINE SERIES COMPLETED

Janssen (J&J)

You may get a single booster dose if:

It’s been at least 2 months since completing the primary vaccination AND you are age 18+

If eligible, you may get a single booster dose of:

  • Janssen (J&J)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna

You may get a second booster dose if:

It’s been at least 4 months since the first booster dose AND you are age 50+ OR age 18+ with certain kinds of immunocompromise

If eligible, you may get a second booster dose of:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna

*Only Pfizer-BioNTech can be used for first and second booster doses in those ages 12 through 17.

For more information, visit www.fda.gov/covid19vaccines

Other Important Considerations

  • There are three COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized or approved to prevent COVID-19 in the United States. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines are preferred.
  • You may want to discuss your individual risks and benefits with your health care provider.
  • "Mixing and matching" of vaccines for boosters for those 18 and up is acceptable. The CDC recommends mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, as a booster dose. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as a booster dose, may be considered in certain situations, such as:
    • The patient has had a severe reaction after receiving a mRNA vaccine dose, or have a severe allergy to an ingredient in Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
    • The patient wants to receive Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID vaccine despite safety concerns.
  • For people who are immunocompromised, all doses (first 2 and additional 3rd dose) should be with the same vaccine product.
  • For non-immunocompromised people, you may want to consider your individual risks and benefits and/or discuss with your health care provider to decide which booster product to use.

Data Supporting Need for a Booster Shot

Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time and be less effective against the Omicron variant. However, a booster vaccine dose can increase protection against symptomatic Omicron infection from about 35% to 76%, and can have even higher effectiveness at preventing hospitalizations and death.

Additional Primary Shot for Some Immunocompromised People

After completing the primary series, some moderately or severely immunocompromised people should get an additional primary shot.

If you received Pfizer-BioNTech and you are 5 years and older and are moderately or severely immunocompromised, you should get an additional primary shot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after your second shot.

If you received Moderna and you are age 18 years and older and are moderately or severely immunocompromised, you should get an additional primary shot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after your second shot.

If you received Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, no additional primary shot is recommended for you at this time.

Some medical conditions which cause people to be considered moderately or severely immunocompromised include:

  • Having been receiving an active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Having received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Having received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Having a moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Having an advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Having an active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

If you think you may have a medical condition that causes moderate or severe immunocompromise, please talk to your healthcare provider about your medical condition, and whether getting an additional primary shot is appropriate for you.

Find a COVID-19 Vaccine

Visit scdhec.gov/vaxlocator or call 1-855-472-3432.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, vaccines reduce the risk of COVID-19, including the risk of severe illness and death among people who are fully vaccinated. While COVID-19 vaccines are effective, studies have shown some decrease in vaccine effectiveness against infection over time. Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts to protect against COVID-19.

So far, reactions reported after getting the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster shot were similar to that of the two-shot primary series. Fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the two-shot primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur. Similarly, reactions after the second dose of the Janssen vaccine were similar to those experienced with the first dose.

Reactions after getting a COVID-19 vaccine can vary from person to person. Reactions reported after getting a booster shot are like those after the two-dose or single-dose primary shots. Fever, headache, fatigue, and pain at the injection site were the most reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. Vaccination protects you from severe COVID-19 infection even if you have side effects after vaccination.

Yes, people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second shot in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-shot vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

Yes, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 should be given as a single booster dose for all individuals aged 12 and older at least 5 months after completion of the Pfizer primary vaccination series. A second booster is recommended for ages 12 and up who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.

No, it is not too late to get a booster so you can still get your booster at the later date. The single booster dose should be given as close to 2 months for Janssen and 5 months for Pfizer or Moderna after completing a primary series. However, there is no known “expiration period” after which you cannot get the booster.

Yes, but it is recommended you get the shots in separate arms.

Yes, COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day. If multiple vaccines are administered at a single visit, each shot can be given in a different injection site. If a patient is due for more than one vaccine, providers are encouraged to offer all the vaccines at the same visit.

Yes. However, you should defer getting the booster at least until clinical syndrome has completely resolved.
Talk with your health care provider to help you decide about booster choice and timing.

No. A booster dose of Janssen vaccine is not recommended for you.

You may receive a dose of Pfizer or Moderna as a booster at least two months following the Janssen dose and after the clinical condition has stabilized.

Talk with your health care provider.

No data are available on the safety of administering either Janssen or mRNA booster dose for this situation.

You do have the option to receive a Pfizer or Moderna booster at least two months after the Janssen dose. At this time, there is no known increased risk of GBS after Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination.

Janssen may still be used as a booster, particularly if your GBS occurrence was more than 42 days after vaccination or was assessed as related to a non-vaccine factor.

Talk with your healthcare provider.

If you had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to Janssen vaccine or to the first or second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, you should not receive that same vaccine as a booster dose.

You have the option of receiving Janssen if you were severely allergic to Pfizer or Moderna, or receiving Pfizer or Moderna if you had severe reaction to Janssen.

 

 

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COVID-19 Vaccine