Do I Need a Booster for My COVID-19 Vaccine?

FDA and CDC weigh in on booster shots for COVID-19 vaccinations

(RxWiki News) As time passes and the Delta variant spreads across the United States, many people are wondering whether they might one day need a booster shot to keep their COVID-19 vaccine working well.

Recently, health officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weighed in on this topic.

Their answer? No — for now.

"Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time," the FDA and CDC said in a joint statement. "FDA, CDC, and NIH are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary."

A booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine meant to improve your immunity to the disease the vaccine protects against. A common vaccine that requires booster shots is the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.

A booster shot for a COVID-19 vaccine would be a third dose for the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or a second dose for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

After they have completed their investigation, health officials may issue new guidance on COVID-19 vaccine boosters. But for now, health experts are not recommending a booster shot, and no COVID-19 vaccine has been approved as a booster.

In their joint statement, the FDA and CDC noted that the available COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19.

Those who are unvaccinated remain at high risk, they said.

"Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated," the agencies said. "We encourage Americans who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their community."

If you have questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, reach out to your health care provider or community pharmacist.

Review Date: 
July 23, 2021