What Vaccinated People Need to Know

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COVID vaccines help protect you from severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19.

It’s important to stay up to date with your vaccines to keep up your protection.

How long does it take for the vaccines to be effective?

Your vaccine is effective 2 weeks after you’ve gotten all your recommended initial doses. 

When am I best protected with a COVID vaccine?

To get the most protection from the vaccines, you need all the recommended doses for people your age.

Vaccinated people 6 months and older should get an updated vaccine when eligible.

Get an updated COVID vaccine now if you’re 18 or older and your last dose was before September 2022.

Otherwise, wait until 2 months after you complete your primary vaccination series to get your updated vaccine dose. For most people, completing your primary vaccination series means you got your first 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax vaccine, or your 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

If you recently had COVID, you should wait 3 months from when you got sick to get your updated vaccine.

Parents and guardians of children under 18: Talk to your child’s vaccine or health care provider about when they need their updated vaccine.

Novavax offers a booster dose of its COVID vaccine, but it doesn’t target Omicron. People 18 and older can get the extra Novavax dose if they’ve completed their primary vaccination series.

Do vaccinated people need to wear masks indoors?

To maximize protection from highly contagious variants and prevent possibly spreading COVID to others, wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth inside public places when the COVID risk to your community is high.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated people must still follow state, local, tribal, and territorial laws, rules, and regulations. That includes public transportation, airport/airplane, local business, and workplace guidance. CDC recommends that everyone ages 2 and older wear a mask on public transportation and while in airports and stations.

What should unvaccinated people do to protect themselves and others from COVID?

For the best possible protection from COVID, get vaccinated and stay up to date with your vaccines.

Until you’re vaccinated, wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth inside public places when the COVID risk to your community is high.

If you’re at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID, you can also protect yourself by:

  • Keeping at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you.
  • Avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you don’t have soap and water.

Public health officials continue to update recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. For the latest guidance, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.