Alex Fulton has been working in the wellness field for more than 20 years. She has written extensively about integrative medicine, herbalism, supplements and other topics related to holistic health. Alex also focuses on issues related to women's health, from menstruation to menopause. She has collaborated with physicians, midwives and functional medicine practitioners to promote natural approaches to health care for women. She has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Full Bio
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Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective. They help prevent you from getting infected and lower your risk of serious illness if you do.
Who should get vaccinated?
All adults in the United States are eligible for Covid-19 vaccines and at least one booster. Adults are considered up to date after a primary series and the most recent recommended booster dose.
Primary series = the first series of doses of a vaccine a person needs to be considered vaccinated against a disease
Booster shots = an additional dose or doses of a vaccine given after the protection from the original shot(s) begins to decrease.
- Earlier booster shots are called “monovalent.” They were designed to protect against the original virus that causes Covid-19.
- The updated boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against the original virus that causes Covid-19 and the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.
What vaccines are available for adults?
- Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine and bivalent booster
- Moderna mRNA vaccine and bivalent booster
- Novavax protein subunit vaccine
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen viral vector vaccine (only recommended for some people, including those allergic to mRNA or protein subunit vaccines)
These vaccines are free and available to everyone, regardless of insurance coverage or immigration status.
When should I get each shot?
Primary Series2 doses separated by 3 to 8 weeksBoosterAt least 8 weeks after the final dose of your primary series or your last booster
Primary Series2 doses separated by 4 to 8 weeksBoosterAt least 8 weeks after the final dose of your primary series or your last booster
Primary Series2 doses separated by 3 to 8 weeksBooster
A monovalent Covid-19 booster is available for people ages 18 years and older if they have completed the primary series vaccination at least 6 months prior but have not previously received a Covid-19 booster — and if they are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine.
Primary Series1 doseBooster
As of September 2022, a Janssen booster is not approved. Adults should get the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster at least 8 weeks after 1st primary series dose.
People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should speak to their healthcare provider about what additional doses of vaccine they may need
Q: Can I mix and match mRNA vaccines?
A: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends completing a primary series of a two-dose vaccine (or three doses for certain immunocompromised patients) with the same product whenever possible.
For booster vaccination, the FDA has authorized the use of mix-and-match vaccines . That means you can get a different brand of mRNA Covid vaccine for your booster than you got for your first two shots. Getting a different brand may even make your immunity stronger .
After completing the series and booster(s), keep checking with your healthcare provider or the CDC to find out if/when you need to get boosted again.
This information is current as of November 12, 2022. Recommendations change often. For the latest guidelines, visit the CDC website .
This resource was created with support from Pfizer.
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