The CDC expanded eligibility for COVID-19 Booster Shots on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. People who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, are now eligible for a booster shot when it has been six months or more after their initial vaccines.

Individuals eligible for the booster shots consists of: people who are 65 years and older, people 18 and older who live in long-term care facilities, individuals with underlying medical conditions, and individuals who work or live in high-risk settings.

For the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, any individuals over the age of 18 and have received their vaccine two months prior can receive any of the given booster shots.

There are currently recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, and there are now more options individuals can make based on their preferences. Eligible people can now choose what vaccine they get as a booster dose. One person may prefer the vaccine type they received initially, while someone else may want a completely different booster. This is now possible because of the CDC’s recommendations for this kind of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Millions of individuals are newly eligible for a booster shot, and would benefit from the extra protection. Although this is great news and an impressive advancement, this shouldn’t take away from the fact that unvaccinated people getting their first COVID-19 vaccine is extremely important as well. The vaccines are proven to reduce risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death including against the circulating Delta Variant.

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