While COVID-19 vaccine boosters are now broadly available and recommended for anyone 16 and older, boosters are especially important for those who are older or immunocompromised. This group has a higher chance of a COVID-19 infection causing severe illness and hospitalization. If you are in this high-risk group, a booster shot can help prevent you from getting a serious illness or being hospitalized – especially as people gather for the holidays.
The importance of boosters
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites studies that show the protection against COVID-19 that the vaccines provide fades over time.
Breakthrough cases rarely cause severe illness, but any COVID-19 infection could be dangerous for older adults who are vaccinated. According to the CDC, about 70% of breakthrough infections that led to hospitalizations where in in adults 65 and older, which is why it recommends that adults older than 65 get a booster shot. Data thus far indicates a booster also provides much better protection against the Omicron variant to reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, or death.
Others that the CDC highly recommends boosters for:
When I get my booster, do I need to get the same vaccine as I did for my initial vaccine?
When getting your booster, you do not have to get the same vaccine that you originally received – the booster can be mixed or matched. For example, those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine may choose to get either a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine as their booster shot, which some health experts recommend.
Do I need to bring anything to my booster appointment?
You should bring your CDC vaccination card to your booster shot appointment so your provider or the person who administers your booster can fill in your card.
Where can I get a booster and other COVID-19 vaccine doses?
Boosters are available at hospitals, clinics and pharmacies such as Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Walgreens, Walmart and many other locations where COVID-19 vaccines are available. You can find locations that offer boosters, as well as locations that offer the pediatric dose for children ages 5-11, by searching here. Some providers require appointments for boosters, so call or visit the provider’s website to see if you need an appointment.
Stay up to date
As new information on COVID-19 and eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines continues to evolve, we strive to bring you the most up-to-date information so that you have all to tools you need to make informed decisions about your health. Our COVID-19 updates page is regularly updated, so refer to that page to see the latest on COVID-19 news and vaccines.
Posted: December 20, 2021