Covid Booster Guidelines – Despite strong criticism, public health departments including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been doing tremendous work during the spread of COVID-19.
From the very first day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tried to test Americans for COVID-19 without any cost and later they also started free vaccination drives throughout the nation with federal funding.
At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a separate set of guidelines for each and everything related to COVID-19. These guidelines are the combination of the right education regarding the virus and the eligibility criteria to receive the COVID vaccine, its booster shots, and COVID testing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been updating its COVID booster guidelines with each development in the country. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of new COVID boosters and also suggested the eligibility criteria for the same. Soon after that announcement, the CDC changed its COVID booster guidelines and today we will discuss all of those.
Approval of New COVID Booster Shot
A few months ago, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States directed every vaccine manufacturer in the country to work on variant-specific vaccines. On the given guidelines, two vaccine manufacturers: Pfizer and Moderna came up with their bivalent COVID vaccines.
On 31st August 2022, the Food and Drug Administration approved the bivalent COVID vaccine which is also known as a new booster shot or updated COVID booster shot. It can become the 5th or 6th COVID vaccine for some people in the United States.
As you might already be aware, everyone above the age of 50 is eligible to receive two COVID booster shots and an immunocompromised person above the age of 50 is eligible to receive six or more COVID shots.
That might sound like a bizarre number, but it is true. The Food and Drug Administration announced that the bivalent COVID vaccine is going to provide better protection against currently dominating variants of COVID-19 in the country.
Every eligible person according to the guidelines and eligibility criteria set by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States is requested to get their self vaccinated with new booster shots.
The FDA has approved two different COVID booster shots and they both are a little bit different. Those differences are also influencing the eligibility criteria as different manufacturers have different eligibility criteria.
COVID Booster Guidelines by CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been refreshing its guidelines with each update in the section on the COVID vaccine and its booster shots.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest every eligible American get vaccinated with all eligible doses of the COVID vaccine. The CDC has further divided COVID booster guidelines into different sections depending on the age category.
Let’s take a look at all those age categories and try to understand COVID booster guidelines with more clarity.
Age Six months to 17 years
The first cluster of CDC COVID vaccine guidelines is for children and teens between the age of six months to 17 years. It also has further categories depending on age. Kindly read all the guidelines very carefully.
- Everyone above the age of six months is eligible for the primary series of COVID vaccines.
- Kids between the age of six months to four years are eligible to receive a two-shot Moderna COVID vaccine series or a three-shot Pfizer.
- Everyone between the age of five years to 11 years is eligible to receive 2 short primary series of Pfizer or Moderna and one booster shot.
- Everyone above the age of 12 is eligible to receive 2 short primary series and one updated booster shot of Pfizer.
- Everyone above the age of 12 is eligible to select the COVID vaccine manufacturer. There are three different options.
This age group is a little tricky as Pfizer has a three-shot primary series, and everyone below the age of 12 is not eligible to receive updated COVID booster shots. They are eligible to receive a monovalent booster shot, which is also known as the original booster shot.
Age 18 years and above
The second and final cluster of COVID vaccine guidelines by the Centers for Disease control and prevention is for everyone above the age of 18. The CDC suggests everyone and you are going to receive code vaccines to get their self vaccinated with any COVID vaccine manufacturer as there are four different options.
Remember the Centers for Disease Control and prevention to not suggest anyone get themselves vaccinated with Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine. Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is known to cause rare blood clotting diseases.
- Everyone above the age of 18 is eligible to receive two-dose primary series of Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax.
- You must have maintained at least a three to eight weeks gap between your two doses of primary series.
- Everyone above the age of 18 is eligible to receive two COVID booster shots including one bivalent COVID booster shot.
- You must maintain at least a two months gap between your updated booster shot and the last dose of the COVID vaccine.
- Everyone above the age of 50 is also eligible to receive two more COVID booster shots apart from updates.
COVID booster guidelines for anyone above the age of 18 are pretty simple. Everyone above the age of 18 is eligible to receive at least two COVID booster shots including new COVID booster shots. You must maintain at least a two months gap between your COVID vaccine shots.
Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention for anyone regardless of their age. It is kept for some special conditions where a person does not want to get vaccinated with any of the other options or a person is allergic to ingredients used in other vaccines.
Apart from those scenarios, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention do not suggest anyone get themselves vaccinated with Johnson and Johnson vaccine or receive its booster shots. If you still want to get yourself vaccinated with the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine, then you should consult with your health care provider. Johnson and Johnson is a one-shot vaccine that can attract a huge number of Americans.
Which COVID Vaccines have been approved by the federal government of the United States?
Apart from Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax, and Johnson and Johnson, There are a few other COVID vaccine manufacturers which have received approval from the World Health Organization, and they are also accepted in the United States.
If you were vaccinated abroad, then you are also eligible to receive any COVID booster shot in the United States including the latest and updated COVID booster shots.
The federal government and the Food and Drug Administration of the United States have made it clear several times that Americans who were vaccinated abroad are also eligible to receive COVID vaccines in the country only if they were vaccinated with the vaccine approved by the World Health Organization.
Apart from the regularly available COVID vaccines in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration also accepted the above even list of COVID vaccines when it comes to vaccinating anyone with booster shots.
If you were vaccinated abroad with any other vaccine which is not included in the above-given list, then you should consult with your health care provider. You might have to get yourself vaccinated once again with approved the series of COVID vaccines.
What are the Covid Booster Guidelines on the mix and Match Policy?
The federal government of the United States introduced a mix-and-match policy for COVID vaccines. A lot of people were facing troubles when vaccines were first launched. To provide a solution to those troubles, the Food and Drug administration came up with a mix-and-match policy for COVID vaccines.
The current COVID booster guidelines also accepted the old mix-and-match policy of the federal government. It means that people who have been vaccinated with the COVID vaccine made by any manufacturer are eligible to receive new COVID booster shots.
For example, people who have received the primary series of COVID vaccines made by Pfizer are eligible to receive booster shots by Moderna. Similarly, people who received the primary series of Johnson and Johnson are eligible to receive the booster shot of Pfizer.
Who is up to date as per new COVID booster guidelines?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also changed the eligibility criteria to get vaccinated and become up to date. People who were considered up to date with COVID vaccines are going to lose their title unless they decide to get themselves vaccinated with new COVID booster shots. People who have received the primary series of COVID vaccines along with the new COVID booster are eligible to be considered up-to-date with the COVID vaccine.