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Do I Need Another COVID-19 Vaccine? What To Know About Additional Doses

Jan 6, 2022 By One Medical
Person putting a bandaid on another's arm.

Updated September 7, 2022.

Clinical Editors:
William Kimbrough, MD and Megan Dodson, PA-C

The CDC is recommending boosters for certain groups after they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series. Here’s what you should know:

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot?

Here are the recommendations for a booster based on age and the type of vaccine that was given in the initial round of vaccination:

Booster Vaccine Recommendation Chart

Boosters are not currently recommended for children 4 years and younger, or for children aged 6 months to 11 years who received the Moderna vaccine for their primary series.

Use the CDC’s COVID-19 Booster Tool for more information about when you need a booster.

What are the new recommendations for the bivalent booster?

The bivalent booster was recently authorized by the FDA - Pfizer for ages 12+, Moderna for ages 18+. “Bivalent” means that the vaccine has been customized to target the two strains of COVID-19 that are currently causing the majority of infections in the country now. Updating a vaccine like this isn’t a new idea - it happens every year with the seasonal flu vaccine, for example. It is recommended for the bivalent booster to be given 2 months after completion of the primary series, or after the last booster that the individual received.

The bivalent booster hasn’t been authorized for children 6 months to 11 years of age, but they are still able to receive the original booster formulation.

Does my booster shot need to be the same type of vaccine as my first and second dose?

No. The CDC has approved a “mix and match” strategy, meaning that individuals who are eligible for a booster shot can receive a different brand for their booster than they received for their primary series. Pfizer or Moderna are the preferred brands for the booster, as the FDA limited the use of the J&J vaccine due to an increased risk of a blood clotting condition. However, if you are unable to receive Pfizer or Moderna, you will still be able to receive the J&J vaccine.

What are the side effects of the booster vaccines?

At this time, side effects reported after the booster vaccines have been similar to those experienced with the original series. According to the CDC, fatigue and pain around the injection have been the most commonly reported side effects, while most side effects have been mild to moderate. Severe side effects have been reported to be very rare with these current COVID-19 vaccines, but may occur.

How can I get a shot if I qualify for a booster shot?

One Medical members can check their app for vaccine availability in our offices. To book an appointment, select “COVID-19 Booster Vaccine” under “COVID-19 Care”. Please note that supply varies by location, so not all offices will have all three vaccine types available. If you don’t see any appointments, please continue to check the app regularly as new slots will be added as supply allows. You can check with local pharmacies, vaccines.gov, and your county’s department of public health for booster shot appointments in your area.

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The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, a national, modern primary care practice pairing 24/7 virtual care services with inviting and convenient in-person care at over 100 locations across the U.S. One Medical is on a mission to transform health care for all through a human-centered, technology-powered approach to caring for people at every stage of life.

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