Boosters

Think you’re up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations? For those age 5 and up, if you haven’t had a new, updated vaccine (bivalent booster) since Labor Day, you may not be. Review the information below to learn more.


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Protect Yourself from the Worst of COVID-19

Federal health officials have authorized new updated COVID-19 vaccines, known as bivalent boosters, designed specifically to target the omicron subvariants.

The new bivalent booster vaccines are different from all previous COVID-19 vaccines and boosters since they target the virus strains currently circulating, as well as the original strains. The new bivalent booster generates a stronger immune response against current and future variants.

Regardless of the primary vaccine received, everyone 5 and up should receive a bivalent booster two months after their second dose or their last booster shot. A complete primary series of vaccine is required (two doses of Pfizer/Moderna/Novavax or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) before receiving a bivalent booster.

Children age 6 months to 4 years are not eligible for a bivalent booster.

People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should consult with their specialty provider about timing and dosage of vaccines.

Do I Need A COVID Bivalent Booster?

Click the images below to view in a larger window:

Bivalent Booster Decision Tree - English
Bivalent Booster Decision Tree - Spanish

Know when and what type of booster dose to get:

Pfizer: 6 months - 4 years

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

3 shots – 3 weeks between the first two doses, third dose at least 2 months after the second

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Not at this time

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time

Pfizer: 5 - 11 years

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

2 shots – 2 doses, 3 weeks apart

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Yes, at least 2 months after second shot or last booster

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time

Pfizer: 12 - 17 years

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

2 shots – 2 doses, 3 weeks apart

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Yes, at least 2 months after second shot or last booster

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time

Pfizer: 18 and older

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

2 shots – 2 doses, 3 weeks apart

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Yes, at least 2 months after second shot or last booster

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time

Moderna: 6 months - 5 years

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

2 shots – 2 doses, 4 weeks apart

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Not at this time

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time

Moderna: 6 - 11 years

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

2 shots – 2 doses, 4 weeks apart

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Yes, at least 2 months after second shot or last booster

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time

Moderna: 12 - 17 years

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

2 shots – 2 doses, 4 weeks apart

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Yes, Pfizer bivalent at least 2 months after second shot or last booster

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time

Moderna: 18 and older

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

2 shots – 2 doses, 4 weeks apart

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Yes, at least 2 months after second shot or last booster

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time

Jansen (J&J): 18 years and older

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

1 shot

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Yes, at least 2 months after initial shot or last booster

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time

Novavax: 18 years and older

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

2 shots - 2 doses, 3 weeks apart

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Yes, at least 2 months after second shot or last booster

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time

Novavax: 12 -17 years

Primary Series

How many shots, and when?

2 shots - 2 doses, 3 weeks apart

Updated Vaccine (Bivalent Booster)

Is a bivalent booster recommended? 

Yes, Pfizer bivalent at least 2 months after second shot or last booster

Other COVID-19 Vaccines

Is a different booster dose recommended?

Not at this time


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chicago star Frequently Asked Questions  chicago star

This updated COVID-19 vaccine was designed specifically to target the omicron subvariants – the dominant virus currently circulating in the U.S. This is a big deal, and very different from the boosters previously offered – it generates a stronger immune response against current and future variants. This will protect individuals and communities from the dominant variant currently circulating in the U.S. as we head into the fall and winter months.

It's being called a "bivalent booster" because it's a mix of two versions of the vaccine — both boosting protection against original coronavirus strain as well as (newly) protecting against the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants and potentially broadening the protection against future variants. A previous booster would have only protected against the original coronavirus strain.

Yes. Individuals 5 and up are up-to-date when they have received their primary vaccine series in addition to an updated vaccine/bivalent booster. For those age 6 months to 5 years old, up-to-date includes the primary vaccination series.

People age 5 and up who have completed a primary vaccine series should receive a bivalent booster two months after their second dose or their last booster shot.

You are not required to wait, but CDC says you may consider waiting 3 months from your most recent infection. Do not wait longer than this.

You can receive your updated vaccine (bivalent booster) at least two months after your last COVID-19 vaccine.

The updated vaccine uses the same technology as the prior Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which have been safely administered billions of times.

Human trials were completed for an updated bivalent booster (original plus Omicron BA.1/BA.2) earlier this summer. These trials showed improved antibody response and no safety concerns, with the same side effect profile as earlier vaccines.  That version of the Omicron bivalent vaccine was then better matched to the “spike” protein of BA.4/BA.5, similar to how flu vaccines are matched each year to the circulating flu strains.

Before you get the updated vaccine, you’ll need to complete your primary series. Schedule your second dose now – then you can receive your updated vaccine (bivalent booster) at least two months after that shot.

CDPH recommends bringing your CDC vaccination card to your appointment.

You will get a new one. CDC recommends completing a second card and stapling the two cards together and both cards should be presented when vaccination history is required for travel, employment, or other purposes.

Booster doses are currently not available for children under the age of 5.

Yes, if a patient is eligible, both flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered at the same visit, as recommended by CDC and ACIP. In addition to flu vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine can be given with other vaccines as well, talk to your healthcare provider to learn more.

COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone at no cost, including the updated vaccine (bivalent booster). Vaccines will continue to be given to all eligible people living in Chicago, regardless of insurance or immigration status.

Yes. The CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant and recently pregnant people receive a bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine booster dose following the completion of their last COVID-19 primary vaccine dose or monovalent booster.


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