Who is Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot?
Only certain populations initially vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can get a booster shot at this time.
COVID-19 Vaccine booster shots are available for the following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients who completed their initial series at least 6 months ago and are:
- 65 years and older
- Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- Age 18+ who work in high-risk settings
- Age 18+ who live in high-risk settings
Examples of workers who may get Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots:
- First responders (e.g., healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
- Education staff (e.g., teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
- Food and agriculture workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Corrections workers
- U.S. Postal Service workers
- Public transit workers
- Grocery store workers
Data Supporting Need for a Booster Shot
Studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to protect against the Delta variant. Although COVID-19 vaccination for adults aged 65 years and older remains effective in preventing severe disease, recent data suggest vaccination is less effective at preventing infection or milder illness with symptoms. Emerging evidence also shows that among healthcare and other frontline workers, vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infections is decreasing over time. This lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated (e.g., waning immunity) as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant.
Data from a small clinical trial show that a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished their primary series 6 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant.
Learn more on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.