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Should you get another COVID-19 booster shot?
May 1, 2023—If you're 65 or older, you may be due for your next COVID-19 booster. That's according to a recent update from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Who else needs a bivalent booster now? According to CDC, everyone 6 years and older should get at least one dose—even those who missed out on the original vaccines. But the details depend on your age, your health and what COVID-19 vaccines you've received already. Here's what to know.
If you're already boosted
Most people who've had a bivalent booster don't need another shot yet. But there are exceptions:
- Most people 6 years and older who've only had the original (monovalent) booster should get one dose of the newer bivalent vaccine.
- People 65 or older who have had one bivalent dose can get a second dose at least four months after their first bivalent vaccine.
- People with weakened immune systems may need a second bivalent booster if it's been two months since their first bivalent shot. If you have a condition that affects your immune system, ask your doctor if another booster is right for you.
If you're vaccinated but not boosted
- Everyone 6 years and older should get at least one dose of the bivalent booster, according to CDC.
- Kids ages 6 months to 5 years who've received all or part of their initial vaccine series should get the bivalent booster too. But the number of doses depends on the brand of vaccine and which shots your child has had already. Your child's provider can tell you what's right for them.
If you haven't been vaccinated yet
If you haven't received your first COVID-19 vaccine yet, the new recommendation is good news: You can skip the multi-dose monovalent vaccine—most adults only need a single dose of the new shots.
- Most people ages 6 and older should get a single dose of the bivalent vaccine.
- People 65 or older or who have certain health conditions may need a second shot. Ask your provider what's right for you.
Children ages 5 and younger can also receive the bivalent vaccine as their primary series. But the details depend on which vaccine they get.
- Children ages 6 months through 5 years should get two doses of the bivalent vaccine, with one month between shots.
- 5-year-olds can get a single dose of the bivalent vaccine.
- Kids ages 6 months through 4 years should get three doses. The first two doses should be three weeks apart. Kids should get the third shot at least eight weeks later.
If you have questions about bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, talk to your doctor. They can help you understand your health risks so you can make the right decision for you. You can also learn more about bivalent COVID-19 vaccines in our Coronavirus health topic center.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "CDC Simplifies COVID-19 Vaccine, Allows Older Adults and Immunocompromised Adults to Get Second Dose of the Updated Vaccine." https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2023/s0419-covid-vaccines.html.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Changes to Simplify Use of Bivalent mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines." https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-changes-simplify-use-bivalent-mrna-covid-19-vaccines.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines." https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/moderna-covid-19-vaccines.