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The vaccines work. The COVID-19 vaccines continue to be remarkably effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death, including against the delta variant. CDC data show that in August 2021, the risk of dying from COVID-19 in the United States was more than 11 times greater for unvaccinated people than for fully vaccinated people.

Booster doses are recommended for some groups of people.

  • Some Pfizer and Moderna recipients should get a booster at least six months after their second shot – people age 65 and older, and adults at high risk due to medical conditions or exposure at their jobs.
  • All Johnson & Johnson recipients age 18 and older should get a booster at least two months after their initial shot.
  • Immunocompromised people who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should get an additional dose at least 28 days after their second dose.

The Booster Dose Toolkit, developed by the Public Health Communications Collaborative, includes talking points, answers to tough questions, sample social media posts and graphics — which can help answer questions about COVID-19 vaccine booster doses and support local vaccination outreach.

Access the Booster Dose Toolkit

The CDC’s clinical guidance advises people to get the same booster as their initial vaccine, but allows people to mix and match (i.e. get a different COVID-19 booster than their initial vaccine) if they have a different preference.

As the science and the virus evolve, so do public health recommendations. Booster doses are common for many vaccines. The scientists and medical experts who developed the COVID-19 vaccines continue to closely watch for signs of waning immunity, how well the vaccines protect against new mutations of the virus and how that data differ across age groups and risk factors. 

Visit the Public Health Communications Collaborative’s Answers to Tough Questions on COVID-19 boosters for messaging guidance that helps answer questions such as: “Can I mix-and-match my COVID-19 vaccine and booster?” and “I want to get a booster dose, but I’m not eligible yet. Why not? Can I get one anyway?”

Source: Public Health Communications Collaborative