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COVID-19: Should you be double-boosted?

An older woman with an adhesive bandage on her arm makes the OK sign.

April 14, 2022— Some people may now get a second COVID-19 booster shot. But who should get the shot? And why is it needed?

Here are some answers to these and more questions.

Q. Who can get a second booster shot?

A. Certain fully vaccinated and boosted people may be eligible for a second booster shot if it has been at least four months since their first booster. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that includes:

  • People age 50 or older who received either the Pfizer or Moderna shots for their primary vaccine series.
  • Anyone who received a Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine for both their primary dose and booster.
  • People 50 years and older who first received a J&J vaccine for their primary vaccine, regardless of what type of booster they received.
  • Certain people who have a weakened immune system. People as young as 12 can get a second booster shot if they have a moderately or severely compromised (weakened) immune system. A person can be immunocompromised due to certain health problems or treatments. Your doctor can tell you if or your child has a compromised immune system.

Q. Why are two boosters needed?

A. COVID-19 vaccines still work. But protection from the virus can lessen with time and as new variants emerge. A first booster shot helps increase protection. A second booster shot provides additional protection. CDC says some people especially need this added protection, including older adults and those over 50 with multiple underlying medical conditions.

Q. Do second boosters work?

A. Yes. If you are eligible to receive a second booster, doing so can add to your level of protection from COVID-19. It may reduce your risk of becoming very ill—or even dying—from COVID-19.

Q. Can I choose my shot?

A. Yes. You should get either the Pfizer or the Moderna mRNA vaccine as your second booster dose. But only the Pfizer vaccine can be used as a booster for children younger than 18 who had the Pfizer vaccine as their primary vaccine.

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Reviewed 6/24/2022

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