Questions about vaccines, timing, boosters and more? Us, too

Updated: March 9, 2022

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Everyone five years and older is now eligible to get a free COVID-19 vaccination. See below for information on Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines, including timing and dosing. 

If you are immunocompromised, please review the specific guidance detailed below. 

Pfizer 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, an mRNA vaccine, is recommended for people five years and older.

  • Primary series: two doses, 21-56 days apart. An eight-week interval may be best for some people age 12 and older, especially for males 12-39 years old. Shared clinical decision making between the patient and their provider is recommended to determine the best timeframe.
  • Booster: It is recommended to receive a booster shot at least five months after the completion of the primary series of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people age 12 years and older.
  • Doses for people age 12 and older: Both doses in the primary series as well as boosters are the same product and amount (30 micrograms each).
  • Pediatric dose (age 5-11): Both doses in the primary series for children 5-11 years old are a lower dose (10 micrograms) than the dose used for people age 12 years and older (30 micrograms). These doses should be received 21 days apart. A booster dose is not authorized for children age 5-11.

Moderna 

The Moderna vaccine, an mRNA vaccine, is recommended for people 18 years and older.

  • Primary series: two doses, 28-56 days apart. An eight-week interval may be best for some people age 12 and older, especially for males 12-39 years old. Shared clinical decision making between the patient and their provider is recommended to determine the best timeframe.
  • Booster: People 18 years and older who received a Moderna primary series should get a booster shot at least five months after completing their primary series.
  • Doses: Both doses in the Moderna primary series are the same (100 micrograms each). The booster dose is 50 micrograms.

J&J

In most situations, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are preferred over the J&J COVID-19 vaccine for primary and booster vaccination due to their reduced risk of serious adverse events. The J&J COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations, including for people who had a severe reaction after an mRNA vaccine dose or who have a severe allergy to an ingredient of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

  • Primary series: one dose
  • Booster: Everyone 18 years and older should get a booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna at least two months after receiving the J&J vaccine, in most situations.

Immunocompromised 

Pfizer

Moderately or severely immunocompromised people 5 years and older should follow this cadence:

  • Primary series: three doses administered at 0, 21 and 49 days.
  • Booster dose: single booster dose three months after primary series completion. A booster dose is not authorized for children age 5-11.

Moderna 

Moderately or severely immunocompromised people 18 years and older should follow this cadence: 

  • Primary series: three doses administered at 0, 28 and 56 days.  
  • Booster dose: single booster dose three months after primary series completion. 

J&J 

Moderately or severely immunocompromised people 18 years and older should follow this cadence: 

  • Primary series: two doses separated by 28 days. The second dose is recommended to be an mRNA vaccine. 
  • Booster: single booster dose two months after the primary series. The booster dose is also recommended to be an mRNA vaccine. 

*People who are immunocompromised and receiving a third dose in the Moderna primary series should alert the person administering the vaccine, as the dose amount is different. 

The Moderna immunocompromised third dose (primary series) is 100 micrograms, while the Moderna booster dose is 50 micrograms. 

For more information about vaccines for caregivers, visit the COVID-19 toolkit.