On April 19, 2023 the CDC updated its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations to simplify guidance and allow people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 to get an additional vaccine dose. The CDC’s updated guidance followed FDA’s regulatory action the day prior, which authorized the additional vaccine doses for older adults and immunocompromised people.
If you are 65 or older or immunocompromised, you can now get an additional updated (bivalent Pfizer/Moderna) vaccine dose at least four months after your initial bivalent dose. If you’re in this group and have questions about getting an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose, you should consult your healthcare provider.
- Why did the CDC make this recommendation? Older adults and people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk for severe COVID-19, and data show that the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines wanes over time. An additional dose of the updated vaccine offers this group extra protection from getting seriously ill with COVID-19.
The CDC continues to recommend that everyone ages 6 years and older get an updated (bivalent) booster dose. You’re up to date on COVID-19 vaccines if you already received an updated bivalent dose since they became available in fall 2022; you’re not currently eligible for another dose unless you’re 65 and older or immunocompromised.
The CDC continues to recommend multi-dose series for young children (as young as 6 months), and these recommendations vary by age, vaccine, and which COVID-19 vaccines they previously received. Visit the CDC’s website for details about vaccine recommendations for young children. Consult with your child’s healthcare provider if you have questions about what vaccines they are eligible for and if it’s time for a booster.
On April 19, the CDC also updated its guidance to no longer recommend the use of monovalent (original) COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, which only protect against the original strain of the virus. Pfizer and Moderna’s updated bivalent vaccine–which protect against the original strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron variant–will be used as the primary series for people who aren’t yet vaccinated.
Summary of the latest COVID-19 vaccine recommendations:
- What has changed:
- Adults age 65 and older and immunocompromised people can get an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose, at least four months after their initial updated (bivalent) vaccine dose.
- Monovalent (original) COVID-19 mRNA vaccines will no longer be recommended for use in the U.S.
- What has not changed:
- CDC continues to recommend that everyone ages 6 years and older receive an updated (bivalent) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals ages 6 years and older who have already received an updated mRNA vaccine do not need to take any action unless they are 65 years or older or immunocompromised.
- For young children, multiple doses continue to be recommended and will vary by age, vaccine, and which vaccines were previously received.