As COVID cases rise in Illinois and parts of the U.S. heading into summer, many are wondering which vaccinations they are eligible to receive and when.
Currently, not everyone is eligible for a second COVID booster shot, but experts are urging anyone who has not yet received their first booster dose to get one.
Who’s eligible for booster shots?
People age 5 to 17: Pfizer recipients should get a booster at least five months after completing their initial two-shot series, according to the CDC.
People age 18 and older: Moderna and Pfizer recipients should get their booster five months after their second shot, and Johnson & Johnson recipients should get a booster at least two months after the first shot.
Second boosters: People 50 and older are eligible for a second booster of Pfizer or Moderna at least four months after their initial booster. People 12 and older who are immunocompromised or have had certain organ transplants are also eligible for a second Pfizer booster, while those 18 and older with the same health conditions can get a second Moderna booster. And people who are immunocompromised and who have already received four shots — three vaccine doses and a booster — can get a second booster.
Third doses of Pfizer and Moderna, distinct from boosters, are recommended for specific immunocompromised people age 12 and older. These recipients may also get a booster — a fourth dose — at least six months after the third shot, according to CDC guidance. The agency recommends that children ages 5 to 11 who are immunocompromised get a third Pfizer dose 28 days after their second shot.
Do boosters mean the vaccines are not working?
No. For most people, the vaccines are doing what they were designed to do: keeping people from getting severely sick or dying. As with many vaccines, immunity wears off, and the booster helps your body develop more protective antibodies. The majority of those falling seriously ill from COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
Do I still need to follow safety precautions after a booster dose?
Yes. You should continue following safety recommendations after a third or additional dose.
Wear a mask in public where required.
Stay 6 feet away from people you don’t live with.
Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.
Individuals can schedule appointments through the Walgreens app, by visiting Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or by calling 1-800-WALGREENS, with walk-in appointments available as store capacity allows*.