The CDC recommends that everyone who is eligible stay up-to-date on vaccinations by getting an updated booster dose at least 2 months after their last COVID-19 shot—either since their last booster dose, or since completing their primary series. Pfizer’s and Moderna’s updated vaccines are available for individuals as young as 6 months. The CDC expanded the use to the youngest group of children (age 6 months to 5 years) on December 9, 2022.
These new boosters contain an updated bivalent formula that both boosts immunity against the original coronavirus strain and also protects against the newer Omicron variants that account for most of the current cases. Updated boosters are intended to provide optimal protection against the virus and address waning vaccine effectiveness over time.
Eligible individuals can get either the Pfizer or Moderna updated booster, regardless of whether their primary series or most recent dose was with Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As per the CDC’s recommendations, the new bivalent booster replaces the existing monovalent vaccine booster, therefore that vaccine will no longer be authorized for use as booster doses.
For children age 6 months to 5 years who get the Pfizer primary series, the updated bivalent vaccine will be used as the third dose in the series, rather than as a separate booster.
Novavax Booster: The Novavax vaccine is authorized as a first booster dose for adults, at least 6 months after completing primary vaccination with any authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Adults age 18 and older may choose to receive a Novavax booster instead of an updated Pfizer or Moderna booster if they are allergic to mRNA vaccines or they are otherwise inaccessible.
Updated December 9, 2022