While pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Moderna are studying Omicron-targeted vaccines, it is unclear how long this process could take and whether the Omicron-targeted vaccine would prove to be more effective than current COVID-19 vaccines. Current COVID-19 vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19 and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. This includes primary series, booster shots and additional doses for those who need them.
Scientists are still learning how effective COVID-19 vaccines are at preventing infection from Omicron. Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are vaccinated are likely to occur. People who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and get COVID-19 are less likely to develop serious illness than those who are unvaccinated and get COVID-19.
Initial booster shots are recommended for those who are:
- 12 and older and completed their primary vaccination series of Pfizer at least 5 months ago
- 18 and older and completed their primary vaccination series of Moderna at least 5 months ago or completed their primary vaccination of Johnson & Johnson at least 2 months ago
If you are age 12 to 17, you must receive the Pfizer booster as it is the only vaccine approved for this age group. For primary and booster vaccination, people should receive an age-appropriate mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized for anyone age 18 and older if no other approved vaccine is available. Bring your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to your appointment.