Booster Shots

The authorized COVID-19 vaccines continue to be effective at reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the highly contagious Delta variant.

Data has shown that, over time, vaccines provide less protection against mild and moderate COVID-19 disease in certain populations. People who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout should get a booster dose to continue to have the highest level of protection that the vaccines provide.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have authorized COVID-19 booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for anyone 18 years and older.

Please check this page for updates about booster shot availability and clinic schedules.

Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines

For those who received the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the FDA and CDC have authorized COVID-19 booster shots for anyone 18 years and older who received the vaccine 6 or more months ago.

Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The CDC also recommends a second shot for anyone 18 years or older who received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine 2 or more months ago.

Mixing and matching vaccines

The CDC recommendations allow for individuals to choose which vaccine they want as their booster shot. Some people may want to stick with the same vaccine they received for their initial shot or they may choose to select a different vaccine for their booster.

Getting a booster shot

If you are eligible for a booster shot, please visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccination location near you. You can also call 1-800-232-0233. Most pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, are providing booster shots.

Booster shots can be scheduled using your myD-H account. Note that not all Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health locations will be able to provide booster shots to all eligible patients.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about booster shots

The following FAQ answers many of the questions you might have about booster shots.


Will people who received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine need a booster shot?

The CDC recommends that people age 18 and older who received the J&J vaccine should get a booster dose at least 2 months after the initial vaccine. This can be an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) or another J&J vaccine.

Are booster shots available for people who received the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, the FDA and CDC have authorized COVID-19 booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for anyone 18 years and older who received the vaccine 6 or more months ago..

Can people who received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine get a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine?

Yes. Under the mix and match authorization, people who received 1 dose of the J&J vaccine can choose to have an mRNA (Pfizer of Moderna) vaccine as their booster dose.

If a booster is needed, does that mean that the vaccine is not working?

No. The COVID-19 vaccines are working remarkably well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, with the Delta variant, experts are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. A booster shot would help to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.

What is the difference between a booster shot and a third or additional dose?

An “additional dose” refers to an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) vaccine that is given to people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receiving an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine. This additional dose is given because these people may not have received adequate protection from their initial 2-dose vaccine series. For more information, see the Third Dose of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ.

A “booster dose” is a supplemental vaccine dose given to people when the immune response to a primary vaccine series was adequate but is likely to have decreased over time.