Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at helping protect against severe disease and death from the virus that causes COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer, more reliable way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19.
Four COVID-19 vaccines are approved or authorized in the United States to prevent COVID-19: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen). It’s recommended that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine only be considered in some situations.
Everyone six months of age and older may be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination at no cost. Everyone ages 5, and older should get one booster after completing their COVID-19 vaccine primary series. Adults ages 50 years and older and certain immunocompromised individuals ages 12 years and older may be eligible for a second booster dose. Talk with your health care provider to learn more.
It is important to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, especially as new vaccines become available. The protection provided by the current vaccine against symptomatic infection and transmission is less than that against severe disease and diminishes over time, especially against the currently circulating variants.
Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccines For Use as a Booster Dose
U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to authorize bivalent formulations of the vaccines for use as a single booster dose at least two months following primary or booster vaccination. The bivalent vaccines, which we will also refer to as “updated boosters,” contain two messenger RNA (mRNA) components of SARS-CoV-2 virus, one of the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the other one in common between the BA.4 and BA.5 lineages of the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before travel. Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is recommended in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).
COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Monitoring
According to research from the National Institutes of Health, people who received low doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine had strong immune memories of the virus six months after being fully vaccinated.
The findings shed light on how lasting immunity develops after vaccination.