COVID-19 booster shots: Who is eligible?

By Walgreens Dec 13, 2022 • 3 min.

Are you confused about whether you're eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot?

Or perhaps you're wondering if your child can get a booster yet. While it can be challenging to keep up with the latest federal recommendations, don't worry—we're here to help.

Even though your initial or primary COVID-19 vaccine offers a high level of protection against infection, serious illness and death, immunity may wane over time. A booster shot is recommended for many individuals who have received their primary vaccine in order to increase protection.

So, how do you know if you qualify for a booster? That depends on which vaccine you initially received and how long it has been since you became fully vaccinated.

Under the latest federal guidelines, it is now recommended that fully vaccinated individuals age 5 and older receive a booster shot once a certain amount of time has passed since their initial vaccination.

Boosters are recommended for individuals age 5 and older who:

  • Completed their initial series of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least five months ago

Boosters are recommended for individuals age 18 and older who:

  • Completed their initial series of the Moderna vaccine at least five months ago
  • Received their initial shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago

A person is not required to receive the same brand of vaccine for the booster as the one administered for their initial vaccination. You're free to choose any vaccine brand for your booster. For example, if your primary vaccine was Johnson & Johnson, you could choose Pfizer-BioNTech for your booster shot. The CDC recommends getting Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, if available.

The CDC recommends that adults age 50 and older get a second booster at least four months after their first booster, regardless of vaccine used. A second booster shot is also recommended four months after the first booster for individuals age 12 and older who are immunocompromised. Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for both their primary shot and booster shot can also get a second booster four months after the first booster. The second booster must be either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna in all cases.

The guidelines for COVID-19 primary and booster shots may be different for those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.

How to schedule your booster shot at Walgreens

If you're eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, you can schedule an appointment to receive your booster at Walgreens. Signing up online is fast and easy. You'll be able to see which dates and times are available at Walgreens locations near you. You'll also see which brand of booster is being offered at each location.

Clinically reviewed and updated by Sonali G. Kshatriya, PharmD, May 2022.