Which COVID-19 booster shot should I get?

By Sherrie Voss Matthews

FDA Authorized Booster Shots

The CDC says those 18 and older should receive a booster shot with Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson following certain guidelines. They have also expanded their COVID-19 booster recommendations to 12-17-year-olds. At this time, only the Pfizer booster is recommended for 12-17 years old.

“There’s a lot of interest in mixing and matching the different vaccines that prevent COVID-19 infection,” said Dr. Jason Bowling, University Health’s director of hospital epidemiology. “We are starting to get some data now of some other countries outside the United States that didn’t have as great of an access to vaccines earlier on who were using the strategy. What that data has shown is that it is promising that mixing and matching probably does boost the antibody level a little bit."

A data set released that looking at people that initially received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – if they received another dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it boosted their antibody levels by about four times. But if they received a Moderna vaccine after first receiving the J&J dose, they boosted their antibody levels by about 76 times. If they received a Pfizer, it raised it about 35 times.

If you’d like to consider a booster, please remember that there are different timelines for each, and there are some eligibility requirements.

For patients who received a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

You are eligible for a booster shot at five months or more after your second shot if you are:

  • 18 years or older with the option of receiving a booster from any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States.
  • 12-17 year old with the option of receiving only a Pfizer booster shot.

For patients who received a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

You are eligible for a booster shot at six months or more after your second shot if you are:

  • 18 years and older with the option of receiving a booster from any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States.

For patients who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

You are eligible for a booster shot at least two months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination if you are:

  • 18 years and older with the option of receiving a booster from any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States.

FDA authorized "mix-and-match" approach for COVID-19 booster shots

This allows eligible patients to choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose.

COVID booster flow chart 

Get your COVID-19 booster at University Health

University Health does not offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Pfizer vaccines (1st and 2nd doses, and boosters) are available at our Wonderland of the Americas vaccine center from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday – Friday (4522 Fredericksburg Road). No appointment or registration needed.

Moderna vaccines (1st and 2nd doses, and boosters) are available at our Robert B. Green Campus Pharmacy (903 W. Martin Street) from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday – Saturday. No appointment or registration needed.

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