Updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters were recommended by the CDC on September 1, 2022 and are now available in Massachusetts.
The new COVID-19 booster vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are updated versions of the original vaccines. These updated boosters were recently authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC.
- Do I need a booster?
Staying up to date on vaccines, including boosters, is the most effective way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. While vaccine protection decreases over time, boosters restimulate the immune system and increase vaccine efficacy again. Boosters are an important defense, even if you’ve already had COVID.
- Who should get the new booster?
People ages 6 months and older are recommended to receive 1 updated (bivalent mRNA) booster dose after completion of any primary series or previously received monovalent booster dose(s) with the following exception: children 6 months–4 years who receive a 3-dose Pfizer-BioNTech primary series are not authorized to receive a booster dose at this time regardless of which Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (i.e., a monovalent or bivalent) was administered for the third primary series dose.
- When and where can I get the updated booster?
Updated boosters are available now. You can get boosters where you received previous vaccines, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, pharmacies, and community health clinics. FRVax.com will continue to provide information on local vaccine clinics and opportunities to receive your booster doses.
- Am I considered “up to date” without a booster?
As with vaccines for other diseases, people are best protected against infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 when they stay up to date with vaccinations.
A person is up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination if they have received all doses in the primary series and all boosters recommended, when eligible.
- If I need a booster shot, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?
No. COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating variants. However, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection, especially among certain populations, against mild and moderate disease. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have specific COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, including recommendations for a booster. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
Find more information on COVID-19 boosters here.