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Understanding COVID-19 Booster Shot Eligibility

Medicare Bob
Health
Depending on which COVID-19 vaccine you received, your eligibility for booster shot could vary — and we’re here to help you learn what to do to protect yourself and those around you.
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Although you may have gotten your first round of COVID-19 vaccines, did you know the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends a COVID-19 booster shot for most people?

The CDC’s requirements vary depending on which vaccine you received, so it’s important to know all the guidelines. Let’s take a look.

If You Received the 2-Dose Pfizer Vaccine…

  • Who should get a booster? Everyone 12+

  • When should you get a booster? At least five months after your first vaccines

  • Which booster can you get? Ages 12-17 can only get a Pfizer booster, while Pfizer or Moderna are accepted for other ages

If You Received the 2-Dose Moderna Vaccine…

  • Who should get a booster? Everyone 18+

  • When should you get a booster? At least five months after your first vaccines

  • Which booster can you get? Pfizer or Moderna are preferred for all ages

If You Received the Single-Dose Johnson & Johnson Vaccine…

  • Who should get a booster? Everyone 18+

  • When should you get a booster? At least two months after your first vaccine

Which booster can you get? Pfizer or Moderna are preferred for all ages

Why You Need a COVID-19 Booster Shot

Based on the latest CDC data, after you get the COVID-19 vaccine, "protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time and due to changes in variants." 

That means, unboosted, your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 increases months after your initial vaccines. But with a booster, data shows your body can have a stronger immune response and improved protection against COVID-19.

Implications for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities

Residents and staff in long-term care facilities live closely in groups and often include older adults with underlying medical conditions, which makes this particular population at increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19.

Examples of long-term care settings include skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and nursing homes.

Even if you do get COVID-19, the vaccine and booster shot can help protect someone in a long-term care facility with an underlying condition from getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus.

Other COVID-19 Booster FAQs

How do I make an appointment for a COVID-19 booster shot?

Contact the location where you received your initial vaccine to schedule an appointment for a booster shot. You can also search vaccines.gov for locations, text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233.

What do I need to bring when I get my COVID-19 booster shot?

You will need to bring your vaccine card with you to your booster shot appointment. If you don’t have your card, contact the place you got your vaccine or your state health department for a replacement.

Will the COVID-19 booster shot make me feel sick?

You might have side effects from the booster shot, but these are just normal signs that your body is building immunity against the virus.

Once I’m boosted, what else do I need to do?

Immediately upon receiving your booster shot, you’ll be considered up-to-date with your COVID-19 protection. Stay tuned for further CDC updates on these guidelines.

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The above is meant to be strictly educational and not intended to provide medical advice or solicit the sales of an insurance product or service of any kind.

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