Why do I need a booster dose?
“Booster doses” will provide a boost in the fight against COVID-19 so New Yorkers have continued protection against the virus. That’s why New York State encourages all eligible New Yorkers to get their booster dose.
Our federal health and medical experts have been analyzing the scientific data closely from New York, the United States and around the world to understand how long the vaccine’s protection will last and how we might maximize this protection. Although COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization, the available data suggest that protection of authorized and approved COVID-19 vaccines against COVID-19 infection begins to decrease over time. A booster dose will help eligible New Yorkers maximize their protection, prolong the vaccine’s durability, and continue to safeguard our communities against the virus.
Am I eligible for a booster dose?
The following groups of New Yorkers are currently eligible for their booster dose:
- New Yorkers ages 5 through 6 years of age who are not moderately to severely immunocompromised are eligible for a Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster dose at least 2 months after completing their primary series of Pfizer BioNTech;
- New Yorkers ages 6 years of age and older age who are not moderately to severely immunocompromised and completed a primary series of Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer-BioNTech or Janssen are eligible for a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna bivalent booster dose 2 months after the completion of their primary series OR two months after their last monovalent booster.
- New Yorkers ages 18 years and older who are not moderately to severely immunocompromised and completed a primary series of Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Janssen are eligible for a a Novavax monovalent booster dose 6 months after the completion of their primary series in situations where they are either unable to receive a mRNA vaccine or unwilling to receive another mRNA vaccine.
- New Yorkers who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, please see our section below for eligibility.
- For more Information on deciding about a booster, visit the CDC website or talk to your healthcare provider.
If we need a booster dose, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?
No. COVID-19 vaccines are working very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against widely circulating variants. That’s why CDC and NYSDOH encourage all eligible New Yorkers to get their booster dose.
It is normal for a vaccine’s protection to wane over time, and a booster dose will help maximize New Yorkers’ protection, prolong the vaccine’s durability, and keep eligible New Yorkers healthy and safe.
Should I receive the same vaccine type I received for my initial vaccine series, or can I receive a different vaccine type (“mix and match”)? In other words, can I decide which booster dose to get?
Individuals are able to receive a different type of booster than their primary series, as long as they are eligible. If you have questions about receiving a different booster type than your primary series, you should consult your health care providers. For eligibility requirements, please see those identified sections.
If I already had COVID, should I still get my booster dose?
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because:
- Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19.
- Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.
However, individuals who have recently recovered from COVID-19 in the last 3 months (90 days) may wish to delay booster vaccination until 3 months after their positive test result.
If you are receiving Evushield, you should delay your next dose of treatment at least 2 weeks after your vaccination. Talk to your primary health care provider if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
What is the guidance for New Yorker’s who are moderately – severely immunocompromised?
New Yorkers who are 5 – 6 years of age and are moderately or severely Immunocompromised and who received Pfizer-BioNTech for their primary series are eligible for a bivalent booster of Pfizer-BioNTech 2 months after their last dose in their primary series.
New Yorkers who are 6years of age and older and are moderately or severely immunocompromised who received Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen or Novavax COVID-19 vaccines for their primary series are eligible for a Pfizer-BioNTech or Modernabivalent booster dose, 2 months after their last dose (either last in their primary series OR their last monovalent booster).
New Yorkers who are 18 years and above and moderately or severely immunocompromised—and who received Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine primary series are eligible for a Novavax monovalent booster dose 6 months after completion of their primary series, in the event that the individual can either not receive an mRNA vaccine or would otherwise not get another vaccine.
In rare instances, a healthcare provider may recommend some individuals to repeat one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and therefore an individual may have received more doses than most identified. It is always best to confirm with your designated health care team for what doses are most appropriate for you.
Can I get a booster and flu shot at same time?
Yes. You may receive a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines (including vaccines such as the measles-mumps-rubella [MMR] vaccine) on the same day, as well as coadministration at any time interval.
Can I get a booster dose before I am eligible?
No. Individuals should only receive their age appropriate monovalent or bivalent booster dose when they are eligible.