On Nov. 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters for adults 18 and older.

The booster dose is recommended for individuals that completed an mRNA sequence at least six months ago. The purpose of a booster is to enhance the protective benefit of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 infections. This helps prevent COVID-19 illness and hospitalization. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices released the following guidelines:

These individuals should receive the booster

• 50 and older

• 18 and older living in a long-term care facility

These individuals may receive the booster 

• Adults 18 and older

Anyone who received Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should get a booster dose of any of the two approved vaccines at least two months after the first dose.

Studies indicate the COVID-19 infection rate is 11 times lower roughly two weeks after the booster dose. The rate of severe COVID-19 infection is almost 20 times lower following the booster dose. 

The booster is available at Tri-County Health Care. For more information about COVID-19 and Tri-County Health Care’s immunization efforts, visit www.tchc.org/covid19.