The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), following the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to open COVID-19 booster shots to all, is recommending anyone 18 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose six months after receiving their second Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“For continued, ongoing protection, we are urging everyone who is eligible to get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to get one,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Scientific and medical experts have reviewed the data and found booster doses are beneficial. While we need more people who are completely unvaccinated to get their first doses, we cannot risk losing some of the protection the vaccines have already provided due to waning immunity.”
Early data show that the vaccines effectiveness against COVID-19 infections is decreasing over time. The lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated, as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant. Getting a booster shot is not uncommon. This happens every year with seasonal flu vaccine.
While you should get the same type of vaccine for both your first and second doses, the CDC has said mix and matching vaccines for booster shots is allowed. For example, if you received two doses of the Moderna vaccine, you may opt to get a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for your booster dose. Or if you received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you may choose Moderna for your booster dose. You just need to wait 6 months after your second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or 2 months after your one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Individuals can contact their health care provider or visit www.vaccines.gov/ to find a nearby location to receive a booster dose.
People who have questions about vaccines and booster doses can call the COVID-19 Call Center at 1-833-621-1284.