The time you need to wait for a COVID booster just got more confusing


A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic at the Keystone First Wellness Center in Chester, Pa., Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Along with authorizing COVID-19 boosters for children ages 12 to 15, the FDA also changed the time some people need to wait to get a booster.

People with a primary series of the Pfizer vaccine can now get their third shot five months after their second jab. It means all three COVID-19 vaccines now have a different timeline for boosters.

People 18 and older who have received the Moderna vaccine as their primary series still need to wait six months to get their booster. They can boost with any of the three available vaccines.

People 18 and older who have received a shot of Johnson and Johnson vaccine can get boosted after two months. They can also boost with any of the three available vaccines.

Pfizer is the only vaccine children between the ages of 12 and 17 can boost five months after their second shot.

Children between the ages of five to 11 with certain health conditions may receive a third dose of Pfizer 28 days after their second Pfizer dose. Children between 12 and 17 can only be boosted with the Pfizer vaccine. Adults may be boosted with any of the three available vaccines.

The FDA said they looked at data from Israel where people are receiving their Pfizer booster after five months rather than six. The agency said that data showed no new safety concerns from the 4.1 million who’d been boosted.

In a statement, the agency said, “Given the demonstrated safety and effectiveness of a booster dose when administered five months after the primary vaccination series, and the fact that a booster dose may help provide better protection against the rapidly spreading omicron variant, the FDA has determined that the known and potential benefits of administering a booster to individuals ages 12 and older at least five months following completion of the primary vaccination series, outweighs the known and potential risks.”

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