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COVID-19 Booster Shots

Page updated 11/30/21


Who needs a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot?

As of November 29, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) recommends that  all people age 18 and older who have already received the COVID-19 vaccine receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster if:

  • Pfizer & Moderna: It’s been at least six months since your second dose
  • Johnson & Johnson: It’s been at least two months since your first dose  

Do I have to receive a booster shot of the same vaccine I received initially? 

The CDC states that the same vaccine you received for initial immunization should be used as a booster dose but it also said that it is OK to receive a booster of a different vaccine (known as the “mix-and-match approach”) when your primary vaccine isn't available or if you prefer a different vaccine.

Vaccinations for first, second and booster doses are available at more than 450 locations throughout Massachusetts. Be sure to check with the CDC often, as it frequently updates its recommendations on who should receive the COVID-19 vaccine booster.

Beginning in 2022, some immunocompromised people may receive a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose

As of Monday, October 25, 2021, the CDC has updated its guidelines for vaccination for people who are age 18 and older who are moderately and severely immunocompromised.

Those individuals who completed a two-shot mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series (Pfizer or Moderna) and received an additional mRNA vaccine dose may receive a single COVID-19 vaccine booster dose (either Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) at least six months after completing their third mRNA vaccine dose. In these situations, these individuals would receive a total of four COVID-19 vaccine doses. The earliest that immunocompromised people who received that third mRNA vaccine shot can get a fourth shot as a booster would be February 2022.

For those people who are age 18 and older who are moderately and severely immunocompromised who received the single dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine primary series should receive only one single COVID-19 booster vaccine (either Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) at least 2 months (8 weeks) after receiving their initial Janssen primary dose.

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