Vaccines are a safe and effective way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, or death from COVID-19. It’s also important to get the recommended COVID-19 booster dose—in case the level of protection you have from the vaccine isn’t as strong over time—and to protect you against new strains of the virus, like Omicron.
Dr. Leisha Nolen, Utah State Epidemiologist, talked to us about the COVID-19 booster and when you should get it.
COVID-19 booster doses are recommended for everyone 16 and older, but are most important for those at higher-risk for severe illness and death. People at higher-risk from severe illness from COVID-19 are those over 65, and those who have underlying health conditions, or live in a long-term care facility. It’s also important to get a booster dose if you work or visit a long-term care facility, or if you live with someone who is at higher-risk.
If you’re 18 or older, it’s safe to get a different brand of booster than you got when you were first vaccinated—if you want to. However, anyone younger than 18 must have a Pfizer booster. Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for those younger than 18.
If you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you should get a booster 6 months after you got your second shot.
If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can get your booster 2 months after your shot.