Highly effective in reducing the risk of severe diseases, hospitalization, and death, vaccination against COVID-19 is your best protection from contracting or spreading the virus and its variants.
With multiple vaccine options available, many people are eligible for COVID-19 booster shots to increase their immunity. Data shows that all three vaccinations approved or authorized in the United States (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson) help to reduce the spread of the virus with booster doses helping to prevent infections from emerging variants.
All fully vaccinated individuals age 16 or over are eligible to receive a booster dose of the vaccine. A person is considered fully vaccinated if they have received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Recent evidence shows that over time, the vaccine effectiveness decreases. The CDC recommends that frontline workers, those with weakened immune systems, and especially those over 65 receive booster doses. Reported reactions are similar to those receiving initial vaccination series, including fever, headache, and pain at the injection site.
If you were vaccinated outside of the United States, you are still eligible to receive a booster dose. For those who completed the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson series abroad, there are no changes to your eligibility. If your COVID-19 vaccine was not one of the three listed above, but you have received all the recommended doses of a World Health Organization emergency use listing vaccine, you are still eligible for a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine if you are 18 years or older.
For those who have completed the 2-dose series provided by Pfizer or Moderna, they are eligible to receive a vaccination booster six months after completing your COVID-19 vaccination. For those who received the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, it is recommended that they receive a booster 2 months after receiving their vaccination. The current booster is a one-shot dose.
According to the CDC recommendations, you have the ability to choose any vaccine as your booster dose. Some choose to continue their original series and remain with the same vaccination provider while others are opting to receive a booster from a different provider. This “mix and match” approach is approved by the CDC for effectiveness. For both Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson, the booster formulation is the same as the original dosage, however Moderna’s booster is a half-dose. Even if you do not receive a booster shot, everyone is still considered fully vaccinated after their initial two-dose or single dose vaccination.
Individuals can schedule their vaccination booster at the location that administered their previous doses. You can also visit vaccines.gov or text your phone number to 438829 to find vaccine locations near you. Bring your vaccination record card to your appointment so that your provider can record the booster dose information. If you did not receive a vaccine card at your initial appointment, contact your vaccination site to find out how to get a card so that you can properly record your vaccination series.
Teche Action Clinic is here to provide assistance with your COVID-19 vaccination and booster dose. Your primary care medical home, we make our services available to those of all income and insurance levels, making high-quality healthcare available to all. Offering a wide variety of comprehensive services, become a part of our community and visit Teche Action Clinic.