(Washington, DC) – Today, as the District remains very focused on ensuring all eligible residents have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Bowser and DC Health are also encouraging members of the community, who are eligible, to get a booster shot. Previously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had already recommended that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system) receive three doses of a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) rather than two doses. This third dose, which was not referred to as a booster, was recommended because sometimes people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised do not build enough (or any) protection when they first get a vaccination.
In September, some individuals who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago became eligible for a booster shot. Now, there are booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at six months or more after their initial series:
- 65 years and older
- Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
For individuals 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are recommended for those who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
Additionally, eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
Residents who received their COVID-19 vaccinations earlier this year should start making a plan to get their booster shot: Find your vaccine card or access your vaccine record by visiting myir.dc.gov, call your healthcare provider to discuss your options for a booster, or visit vaccines.gov to find a location near you. Residents who need support can call 855-363-0333. Eligible residents can go to one of the 153 locations around the city that offer the safe, free, and effective COVID-19 vaccines.