Who Needs an Additional COVID-19 Vaccine? 

 

On October 21, 2021, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation for a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccines in certain populations.  The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) and CDC’s recommendation for use are important steps forward as we work to stay ahead of the virus and keep Americans safe. For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series: 

                   65 years and older 

                   Age18+ who live in long-term care settings 

                   Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions 

                   Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

 

 Examples of workers who may get Pfizer-BioNTech booster or Moderna COVID booster shots: 

  • 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 

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. 

There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for 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. 

Millions of people are newly eligible to receive a booster shot and will benefit from additional protection. However, today’s action should not distract from the critical work of ensuring that unvaccinated people take the first step and get an initial COVID-19 vaccine. More than 65 million Americans remain unvaccinated, leaving themselves – and their children, families, loved ones, and communities– vulnerable. 

Available data right now show that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.