COVID-19 Booster Shots

Who is Eligible for a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot?

People age 18 years and older who received Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may get a booster six months after completing the initial vaccination series.

You should get a booster if you are:

  •  Ages 50 years and older
  •  Ages 18 years and older and live in a long-term care setting

You may get a booster if you are:

  • Ages 18 years and older

Who is Eligible for a Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot?

All people ages 18 or older who received a single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine, should receive a second shot at least two months after the first shot.

Individuals who received Janssen (J&J) may receive a Pfizer or Moderna booster as the second shot, if desired.

Other Important Considerations

  • In general, the same vaccine product that was used for the primary series should be used for the booster, but people may choose a different vaccine for the booster dose if desired.
  • You may want to discuss your individual risks and benefits with your health care provider.
  • Vaccine “mix and match” may be considered for the booster dose only.
  • 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 that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to protect against the Delta variant. Although COVID-19 vaccination for adults aged 65 years and older remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggest vaccination is less effective at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms. Emerging evidence also shows that among healthcare and other frontline workers, vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infections is decreasing over time. This lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection over time since first getting vaccinated (e.g., waning immunity) as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant.

Data from several small clinical trials show that a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished their primary series six months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant.

Older adults and 50-64 year old people with medical conditions

People aged 65 years and older and adults 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, and can also increase for adults of any age with underlying medical conditions.

Long-term care setting residents aged 18 years and older

Residents aged 18 years and older of long-term care settings should get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Because residents in long-term care settings live closely together in group settings and often are around older adults with underlying medical conditions, they are at increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19.

People with medical conditions aged 18-49 years

People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine based on their individual benefits and risks. Adults aged 18–49 years who have underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. However, that risk is likely not as high as it would be for adults aged 50 years and older who have underlying medical conditions. People aged 18–49 years who have underlying medical conditions may get a booster shot after considering their individual risks and benefits. This recommendation may change in the future as more data become available.

Employees and residents at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission

People aged 18–64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech of Moderna vaccine based on their individual benefits and risks. Adults aged 18–64 years who work or reside in certain settings (e.g., health care, schools, correctional facilities, homeless shelters) may be at increased risk of being exposed to COVID-19, which could be spreading where they work or reside. Since that risk can vary across settings and based on how much COVID-19 is spreading in a community, people aged 18–64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may get a booster shot after considering their individual risks and benefits. This recommendation may change in the future as more data become available.

Examples of workers who may get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster[ 1 ] shot

  • First responders (e.g., healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
  • Education staff (e.g., teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Corrections workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store workers

1 List could be updated in the future

Find a COVID-19 Vaccine

Visit scdhec.gov/vaxlocator or call 1-866-365-8110.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection, especially among certain populations, against mild and moderate disease.

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.

Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.

No. Booster doses are only authorized for ages 18 and older.

No, you can still get your booster at the later date. 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, but it is recommended you get the shots in separate arms

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.

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 is you had severe reaction to Janssen.

 

 

Tags

COVID-19 Vaccine