What you need to know about updated COVID-19 boosters (2023)

The central theses

  • Next Generation COVID-19 Boosters replace the original booster formula for 5+ (Pfizer) and 6+ (Moderna).
  • The new vaccines are bivalent, i. h protect against the original COVID-19 and newer Omicron variants such as BA.4 and BA.5.

COVID-19 booster shots are getting an update. federal health authoritiesgreen light for the long-awaited reformulated boostersby Moderna and Pfizer for ages 12 and older on August 31, and expanded approval to ages 5 and older in October.

Booster shots are modified to better protect vaccinated people from hospitalization and death from newer virus variants. they arebivalent, which means they can point the original COVID-19 strain and Omicron BA.5, the dominant variant in the United States.

Things to know about Omicron BA.5 reinfections

Health officials highlighted the timing of the updated booster rollout as people will be spending more time indoors during the fall and winter. Giving the new booster shots will prevent thousands of deaths and hospitalizations, researcherstold a CDC advisory panellast week.

How effective are the new boosters and when should you get yours? This is what we know so far.

Who is eligible for the new booster shot?

children, adolescents and adults those eligible for reinforcement can only advance the recast shot. If you received a primary series from Novavax or Johnson & Johnson, you can still do so Get a booster shot from Pfizer or Moderna.

Here's the breakdown by age group:

(Video) What to know about the updated Covid-19 boosters l GMA

  • Under 5 years: This group is not yet eligible for bivalent boosters.
  • 5 to 17 years:You can get the new booster shot from Pfizer or Moderna at least two months after your first series of shots or last booster shot if you are 6 years of age or older, but only Pfizer is approved for children 5 years of age and older.
  • 18 to 49 years:You can get a dose of the refreshed booster from Moderna or Pfizer at least two months after your primary series or last booster.
  • 50 years and older:You can get an updated booster from either company at least two months after the main series vaccine or the last booster. Anyone in this group can get the upgrade, regardless of how many shots they previously received.

If you are immunocompromised, you may have already had more than one booster shot and you can receive the new booster shot two months after your last shot.

What makes this booster different?

Bivalent boosters are not completely new vaccines. Moderna and Pfizer modified their existing vaccines to attack different versions of the COVID-19 virus. The new booster is designed to protect against the original strain and Omicron's BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants.

The Pfizer and Moderna bivalent boosters have the same dose size as the previous version. Pfizer's vaccine for children over 12 contains 30 micrograms of antigen, while Moderna's contains 50 micrograms. In each vaccine, half the dose protects against the newer Omicron variants, while the other half is the original vaccine formulation.

Children receive smaller doses: 10 micrograms for Pfizer and 25 micrograms for Moderna.

Can you use a rapid home COVID test for BA.5?

How well does the new booster work?

Earlier this year, Moderna and Pfizer conducted clinical data on bivalent vaccines targeting Omicron BA.1, leading to a peak of cases in early 2022. In both studies, the boosters stimulatedhoch levelsof protective antibodies in study participants.

The two companies also shared data on how bivalent vaccines targeting BA.4 and BA.5, the newer strains, performed in mice. Moderna's bivalent vaccine increased neutralizing antibodies more than 4-fold in mice, while mice vaccinated with Pfizer's bivalent booster saw a 2.6-fold increase in antibodies.

There is still no data on how well the now-approved boosters actually work in humans. Moderna has enrolled participants in its clinical trial to test the BA.4/BA.5 vaccine and expects to have data by the end of the year. Pfizer is also testing its own booster in clinical trials, as well as its BA.1 bivalent booster in children 6 months to 5 years.

When should you get the new booster if you just had COVID?

After recovering from COVID-19, your body has high levels of immune cells primed to protect you from reinfection. Memory B cells make sure the body remembers how neutralizing antibodies are made for a few months.

(Video) Updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccine booster: what you need to know with Bruce Farber, MD

The CDC said that people with a previous infection can technically get a booster once they recover. However, a recent preliminary study shows that the immune system does not gain much from receiving a boost within two months of recovery.

"For people who have previously had COVID-19, it is generally recommended to wait at least three months before giving the vaccine dose."Dr. Walter Orenstein, professor and associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center, in a news release.

Regardless of the interval, it's best to keep your vaccinations up to date, even if you have extra protection against infection. Recent data from Qatar suggests that people who have received three doses of the vaccine and have had a previous COVID-19 infection are better protected from contracting COVID-19 again.

Should I still get a booster shot after a breakthrough case of COVID?

Should I get the updated booster shot if I recently had one?

The CDC recommends waiting at least two months from the last dose of the vaccine. If you recently had a COVID-19 infection, you might consider postponing a booster dose for up to three months after a positive test.

Prior to this introduction, adults were advised to wait five months between the primary mRNA run and the first booster dose.

While the shorter interval may be safe, a longer interval may allow your body to mount a more sustained immune response. Waiting four to six months after the last dose of the vaccine may be ideal for long-term protection.Andrew Pekosz, PhD,A virologist and vice chair of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said in a news release.

3 Things That Encourage People to Get a COVID Booster Vaccine, Study Finds

(Video) What you need to know about COVID-19 booster shots

Can you mix and match boosters?

Moderna and Pfizer have not collected data on the effectiveness of receiving a bivalent booster vaccine that does not coincide with your primary series.

However, clinical studies on primary regimens and initial booster doses suggest that a mixture of the two mRNA vaccines could be used.even more effectiveYou get all the recordings from the same manufacturer.

Dra. Kathryn M. Edwards, FIDSA, a professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said mixing and matching the types of vaccines is likely to provide the broadest immunity. Eventually you should get the upgraded booster available to you.

Why did we need COVID vaccines when the TB vaccine offers protection?

Can I get the booster and the flu shot at the same time?

The upcoming flu season coincides with the introduction of the bivalent booster shot. Health experts say people can expedite their vaccination appointments by getting the flu shot and the booster shot at the same time.

The CDC recommends that people receive the vaccines in different extremities.Ashish Jha, MD, MPH,The White House coronavirus response coordinator said that giving both vaccines at the same time may cause a similar or slightly higher incidence of side effects, but no serious adverse outcomes.

"I really think that's why God gave us two arms, one for the flu vaccine and the other for the COVID vaccine," Jha told a news conference.

Flu season in the US typically begins in October or November, although data from Australia suggests the season could start even earlier this year.

Will the vaccines be free?

in the white housePress conferenceThis week, Jha said that the upgraded boosters will "continue to be free." The government has already purchased 171 million doses of bivalent vaccine for this launch and supplies should be plentiful.

(Video) What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Bivalent Booster and New Winter Variants

However, Congress has not appropriated additional funds to prevent and control COVID-19. initiatives likefree COVID test kitsthey were halted due to insufficient funding.

"This is an important issue that we need to address, either through federal funds or additional funding avenues," Pekosz said. "We don't want the cost of these vaccines, tests and treatments to limit their acceptance, particularly in vulnerable populations."

Do you need more reinforcements in the future?

It's probably too soon to tell exactly what the booster timeline will look like going forward. Scientists are not yet sure how long the protection from the upgraded boosters will last. They also cannot predict which new variants will emerge and how well they will evade the existing immune system.

It will take several months before people who get the updated booster shot are followed up to see how quickly the immune-protective effect of that shot wears off. Meanwhile,Anthony Fauci, MD, President Biden's top adviser on the coronavirus response, told the White House news conference that the White House plans to administer booster shots once a year, as it does with flu shots. Those with compromised immune systems could expect to receive booster shots more frequently.

"As we look at the COVID-19 pandemic, absent a dramatically different variant, we will likely follow a path with a vaccination cadence similar to that of the annual influenza vaccine, with COVID-19 vaccines updated annually. aligned with what is currently available "circulating strains for the majority of the population," Fauci said.

Scientists have also floated the idea of ​​a universal vaccine that would protect against multiple variants of COVID, including those that may emerge in the future.

Right now, getting vaccinated and practicing wearing masks and social distancing are the best ways to protect people from COVID-19.

“The doses of vaccine that remain in the vial are 0% effective. It's not vaccines that save lives, it's vaccines that save lives," Orenstein said.

what that means to you

Updated booster shots are available now or soon at places where you can already get vaccinated, such as: B. Doctor's offices, some health clinics, pharmacies, emergency centers, and mobile COVID-19 vaccination centers. You can find vaccination centers near you atImpfstoffe.gov.

(Video) Everything you need to know about the bivalent COVD-19 booster

The information in this article is current as of the date shown, which means that more recent information may be available at the time you read this article. For the latest updates on COVID-19, please visit ourcoronavirus news page.


Should i get the new COVID booster? ›

There is not a recommendation to get another updated booster dose. Previous boosters are called “original” because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19. They also provide some protection against Omicron, but not as much as the updated boosters.

What are the reactions to the new COVID booster? ›

Common side effects include pain at the injection site, fever, body aches and headaches.

Should I get a third booster? ›

What is the difference between a third dose and a booster? Third doses are recommended for those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.

Is it possible to get a third COVID booster? ›

If you have a weakened immune system, please talk with your doctor about whether you should get an additional primary shot. The CDC recommends that moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals who received the two-dose series of either Pfizer or Moderna get a third dose of the vaccine.

How long does it take for the booster shot to take effect? ›

How long does it take for my booster to start working? Your body's immune response kicks in almost immediately after a booster dose. It may take around two weeks to reach maximum protection.

Which booster is better Moderna or Pfizer? ›

Both of the mRNA vaccines available in the US are highly effective against severe COVID-19, but recent studies suggest that Moderna's elicits a stronger immune response and might be better at preventing breakthrough infections.

What are bad side effects of Covid booster? ›

Side effects are more common after the second dose and can include:
  • Pain, swelling, and redness on the arm where the shot was given.
  • Tiredness.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Chills.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.

Does Covid booster have long term side effects? ›

Long-term side effects following any vaccine are extremely rare following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. Historically, vaccine monitoring has shown that if side effects are going to happen, they tend to happen within six weeks of a vaccine dose.

What are the side effects of the third Covid booster shot? ›

What are the side effects for a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine? Side effects following a booster or third dose of COVID-19 vaccine are similar to side effects following the second dose, with slightly more pain at the injection site, fever, chills, and fatigue. No serious side effects were found in third dose studies.

Is there a difference between booster and 3rd vaccine? ›

The third vaccination is NOT the same as a booster. It is a top up because while the first two doses will have offered some protection, they may not have generated a full immune response as they do in those who do not have weakened immune systems.

What is the difference between the booster and third vaccine? ›

For example, those who are immunocompromised need a third dose to reach a stronger level of immunity against the virus. A “booster” is an additional vaccine dose given to individuals who may have waning immunity because they completed their initial vaccine series many months ago.

Is there a difference between 3rd Covid vaccine and booster? ›

A third dose is a top up for those who may not have had a full immune response from the first two doses. The aim is to give you a similar level of protection as someone without a weakened immune system who has had two doses.

What qualifies as immunocompromised for COVID vaccine booster? ›

Specifically, immunocompromising conditions may include: Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood. Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.

What is the effectiveness of the second COVID booster? ›

Compared to participants vaccinated with the first booster dose approximately 181 to 210 days before testing, the relative protection observed seven to 30 days after the first booster was 64%, and after the second booster was 39%.

What are the side effects of the 4th Covid vaccine? ›

You may also get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery 1 or 2 days after your vaccination. You can take painkillers such as paracetamol if you need to.
Most side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
  • a sore arm from the injection.
  • feeling tired.
  • a headache.
  • feeling achy.
  • feeling or being sick.

Is it ok to take Tylenol after COVID booster? ›

If you have a sore arm or a fever after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20.

Which COVID booster is better? ›

Overall, the bivalent shots were 37% more effective at preventing severe COVID-19 than the original boosters. Effectiveness was similar between the two different brands, and whether or not people had received one or more boosters previously. Protection from both shots peaked at about 4 weeks after administration.

How long is Pfizer booster effective? ›

The model predicted that a booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines can induce robustly enhanced antibody- and immune cell–based responses against SARS-CoV-2 to provide sufficient protection for more than 1 year in healthy individuals.

Should i mix Pfizer and Moderna? ›

Public health has also made it clear that it is safe to mix and match Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for booster shots.

Which COVID vaccine is better for seniors? ›

Pfizer/BioNTech's and Moderna's vaccines require two shots or doses, while J&J's vaccine is one. J&J's one-shot vaccine could alleviate the burden of scheduling two doses, making it ideal for older adults looking to stay at home/shelter in place as the pandemic continues to play out.

What is the difference between the Moderna shot and the booster? ›

Please note, if you receive the Moderna booster, you will receive half of the original Moderna dose. An additional dose is administered to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. This additional dose is intended to improve immunocompromised people's response to their initial vaccine series.

Can you exercise after booster shot? ›

A 90-minute walk, jog or bike ride after getting vaccinated may boost your body's immune response.

Which COVID vaccine is safest? ›

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are strongly recommended as safe and effective at preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19. From December 2020 to December 2021, about 470 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the U.S.

What pain reliever can I take after COVID vaccine? ›

Over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol® (acetaminophen) or Motrin® or Advil® (ibuprofen) can help with pain, fever, headache, or discomfort.

Can COVID booster cause memory loss? ›

Memory loss has not been reported after COVID-19 vaccination, although it is a possibility.

What are the side effects of Pfizer 4th booster? ›

The most frequently reported reactions were fatigue, headache, muscle pain, cold and a sore throat.

Does the Moderna booster have long term side effects? ›

Records show that side effects, if any, occur within 2 months of vaccination [2]. They do not develop years after they are used. mRNA, which is the technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, degrades in the body naturally after a few days, and the spike protein it creates only stays for a couple weeks [3].

Can you feel sick after COVID booster? ›

Side effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination

feeling tired. headache, aches and chills. diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. mild flu-like symptoms.

Why do I have to wait 28 days after COVID for booster? ›

This is because evidence suggests that a 12-week gap may reduce the already extremely low risk of heart inflammation after a vaccine. The 12-week gap does not apply to children at higher risk from the virus, including those with health conditions and those who live with vulnerable adults, who should wait for 28 days.

Who is considered immunocompromised for COVID? ›

Immunocompromised condition or weakened immune system

This includes people who have cancer and are on chemotherapy, or who have had a solid organ transplant, like a kidney transplant or heart transplant, and are taking medication to keep their transplant.

Is a type 2 diabetes considered immunocompromised? ›

Hyperglycemia in diabetes is thought to cause dysfunction of the immune response, which fails to control the spread of invading pathogens in diabetic subjects. Therefore, diabetic subjects are known to more susceptible to infections.

What is the CDC recommendation for COVID booster? ›

People ages 18 years and older who received the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine primary series dose are recommended to receive 1 bivalent mRNA booster dose (i.e., Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) at least 2 months after completion of the primary series dose (for people who have not received any booster doses), or at least 2 months ...

Is there a difference between the first and second booster shot? ›

An additional dose is different from a booster dose. Some people, those who are immunocompromised, may not develop the same immune response level after vaccination as others, so they made need an additional dose before their booster. A booster dose is recommended as protection from the vaccine may wane over time.

What is the positive effect of booster shot? ›

Booster shots of mRNA coronavirus vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) can increase antibodies up to 10 times. Higher levels of antibodies seem to be especially important against newer variants of the coronavirus. Infections from the variants are surging, and it seems to be more contagious, especially among children.

What is the benefit of COVID vaccine booster? ›

COVID 19-vaccines are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying. CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older stay up to date with their vaccines, which includes everyone 5 years and older getting boosters if eligible, for the best protection against COVID-19.

When should I get my fourth Covid shot? ›

Everyone 5+ who has had their primary series should get the updated booster at least 2 months after any COVID vaccine or booster dose. You should get the updated booster even if you have received a booster shot before.

How effective is the new Omicron booster? ›

The bivalent was also 61.8% effective against infection versus 24.9% for the monovalent vaccine. The study, which drew data from people 12 and over who were included in North Carolina's vaccine registry, was done during a time when Omicron BQ. 1 and BQ.

Who should get bivalent booster? ›

CDC recommended an updated (bivalent) booster for adolescents aged 12–17 years and adults aged ≥18 years on September 1, 2022 (3). The bivalent booster is formulated to protect against the Omicron BA. 4 and BA. 5 subvariants of SARS-CoV-2 as well as the original (ancestral) strain (3).

What are the side effects of Moderna bivalent booster? ›

Axillary (or groin) swelling or tenderness was reported slightly more frequently in the younger age group than the older age group (9.3% vs 9.1% after dose 2). Injection site redness and swelling following either dose were reported less frequently. Redness and swelling were more common after dose 2.

When to get bivalent booster after having COVID? ›

For people who have recovered from COVID-19 infection, getting the bivalent booster provides added protection. After having COVID-19, you may want to wait 3 months before getting the bivalent booster.

Does COVID booster reduce infection? ›

The updated Covid boosters reduce the risk of Covid infection from the predominant omicron subvariant by nearly half, according to early data published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Who should not get a booster? ›

Additionally, people of all ages should not get a booster shot if currently sick with COVID-19 or any other illness, or if they have had symptoms in the past 14 days.

What viruses need booster shots? ›

Who Needs Booster Shots?
  • Hepatitis A.
  • Hepatitis B.
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)
  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap)
  • Varicella.

What is the third COVID booster called? ›

In the fall of 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved an "updated booster" known as the bivalent vaccine for ages 5 and older.

Can Moderna booster cause long term side effects? ›

Records show that side effects, if any, occur within 2 months of vaccination [2]. They do not develop years after they are used. mRNA, which is the technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, degrades in the body naturally after a few days, and the spike protein it creates only stays for a couple weeks [3].

Can I take Tylenol after Covid booster? ›

If you have a sore arm or a fever after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20.

Should I take the bivalent booster? ›

People who have received more than 1 original (monovalent) booster are also recommended to get a bivalent booster. You must wait 2 months from your most recent COVID-19 shot to get a bivalent booster.

What are the side effects of the Pfizer bivalent vaccine? ›

Redness was reported slightly more frequently in the older age group than the younger age group (10.9% vs 7.5% after dose 3). Injection site swelling following either dose was reported less frequently. Redness and swelling were more common after dose 2 than dose 1 or 3.


1. What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot
(Mount Sinai Health System)
2. Updated COVID-19 boosters: What you need to know
(WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7)
3. COVID-19 booster vaccines: What you need to know
(Sky News)
4. What you need to know about the updated COVID bivalent boosters
(KARE 11)
5. What you need to know about the COVID-19 booster shot
(KHOU 11)
6. What you need to know about the new COVID-19 booster shot
(ABC15 Arizona)
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