Frequently Asked Questions About Updated COVID-19 Vaccines

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What are the updated vaccines?

The COVID-19 vaccines continue to work very well at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

The updated vaccines now available from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna help protect against the Omicron variant, which is causing most new COVID infections.

Who should get an updated COVID vaccine?

Every vaccinated person 12 or older should get an updated vaccine.

It’s especially important for the following people to get an updated vaccine because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID:

When should I get an updated COVID vaccine?

No matter which COVID vaccine you got (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) for your primary vaccination series or how many boosters you’ve already gotten, you should get your updated COVID vaccine 2 months after your last dose.

Are the updated COVID vaccines safe?

Yes. Just like other vaccinations, your arm might feel sore after you get your shot. You might also experience flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headaches, body aches, and tiredness.

These are normal signs that your immune system is responding to the vaccine. Although these side effects may be unpleasant, you’re not actually sick. And they last a few days at most.

Serious side effects from any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccines, are very rare.

Where can I get an updated COVID vaccine?

Vaccines are available from pharmacies, doctors’ offices, community health centers, and many more locations. Most people live within 5 miles of a vaccination site.

You have 3 ways to find free vaccines near you:

  • Go to vaccines.gov
  • Text your ZIP code to 438829
  • Call 1-800-232-0233

Remember to bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card when you go for your updated vaccine.

When am I best protected with a COVID vaccine?

You’re best protected when you’re up to date with your COVID vaccines. That means you’ve gotten all recommended doses for people your age.

Do I need to keep wearing a mask once I get my updated vaccine?

To maximize protection from highly contagious variants and prevent possibly spreading COVID to others, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear a mask inside public places when the COVID risk to your community is high.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated people must also follow federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial laws, rules, and regulations. That includes safety precautions for:

  • Public transportation
  • Airports and airplanes
  • Local businesses
  • Workplaces

Where can I find more information about COVID-19 vaccines?

For more information about COVID-19, including the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, see our Facts About COVID-19 and the Vaccines.