17:15 PM

All adults in the U.S. can now get the COVID-19 vaccine booster shots


Five things to know about getting yours

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded Emergency Use Authorization for booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to now include all adults, six months after completion of the second dose of their initial vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also now recommends booster doses for everyone eligible. The additional shot is intended to maintain protection from COVID-19 infection and reduce the severity of symptoms for persons with breakthrough infections. While health experts support booster shots, initial vaccination is still the most important step anyone can take to protect themselves, their family and their community from COVID-19.

Here are five things to know about the COVID-19 booster shots.

  1. All adults are now covered. Previously, eligibility for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine boosters was limited to certain groups of individuals, including those 65 years of age and others over age 18 who had underlying medical conditions or lived or worked in at-risk settings (Booster doses are already recommended two months after initial vaccination for anyone who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Now, booster shots are recommended for ALL adults 18 and over, six months after their second vaccine shot. On December 9, the FDA approved the Pfizer booster for people ages 16 and 17, also six months after those teens received their second vaccine shot.
  2. The boosters are free of charge. As was the case with the COVID-19 vaccines, Horizon members have no out of pocket costs for the COVID-19 booster shots.
  3. COVID-19 booster shots are available throughout New Jersey. You can make a vaccine booster appointment at any existing vaccination location without a prescription. Locations include pharmacies, health centers, community clinics or your primary care physician. For more information on finding a vaccine booster location and making an appointment, visit the State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub.
  4. Boosters offer enhanced protection against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are effectively working to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Getting a booster maintains immunity and improves protection against mild and moderate cases of COVID-19.
  5. The Delta variant continues to spread. While about 70 percent of Americans are vaccinated, COVID-19 continues to spread, especially among the unvaccinated and compounded by the highly contagious Delta variant. Health experts recommend COVID-19 booster shots, along with other precautionary steps such as wearing a mask in public places, to protect yourself from the continuing COVID-19 threat.