Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series

The number of vaccine doses you need depends on which vaccine you receive.

  • Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.
  • Two doses of Moderna vaccine should be given 4 weeks (28 days) apart.
  • Only one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) vaccine should be given.

If you receive a vaccine that requires two doses, you should get your second shot as close to the recommended interval as possible. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable for your COVID-19 vaccine primary series.

If you received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for your first shot, you should get the same product for your second shot.

Additional Primary Dose If You Are Immunocompromised

If you received a Pfizer-BioNTech (ages 12 and older) or Moderna (ages 18 and older) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series and have a moderately to severely compromised immune system, you should receive an additional primary dose of the same mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after the second dose.

Additional primary doses are not interchangeable. The additional mRNA COVID-19 dose should be the same vaccine product as the initial 2-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). If the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available, the other mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be used.

Currently, CDC does not recommend an additional primary dose if you received a single-dose J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine or in children less than 12 years old with moderate or severely compromised immune systems.

Booster Shot

CDC recommends that if you received a primary series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) and are 65 years and older, 18 years and older and live in a long-term care setting, or are between the ages of 50 and 64 years and have certain underlying medical conditions, you should receive a single COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at least 6 months after you have completed your primary mRNA vaccine series.

CDC recommends everyone 18 years and older who received a J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine primary dose should also receive a single COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at least 2 months after their primary dose.

If you are 18–64 years old and work or reside in high-risk settings, or if you are ages 18–49 years with certain underlying medical conditions, you may get a booster shot based on your individual risks and benefits.

Learn more about who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

If you get a booster shot you have the option to either get the same COVID-19 vaccine product as your primary series, or you can get a different COVID-19 vaccine. You may have a preference for the vaccine type that you originally received, and you may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or J&J/Janssen). You may consider the benefits and risks of each product and discuss with your healthcare provider which COVID-19 vaccine product is the most appropriate booster for you.

Currently, a booster shot is not recommended for children less than 18 years old.

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