Anyone 12 and older can now get a COVID-19 booster shot. Here's what to know and where to get one in Austin.
As people return from the holidays, it might be time to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine booster. Federal officials have expanded eligibility for the shots, and now anyone 12 or older is able to get one.
These shots help provide increased protection against severe illness and death from the coronavirus.
Here’s what to know and where to get the shot:
Pfizer or Moderna vaccine recipients
Those who got the Pfizer vaccine are eligible to get a booster shot five months after receiving their last dose. Those who received Moderna can get a booster shot six months after their last dose.
People 18 and older don’t have to get the same type of vaccine that you originally received. You can mix and match and get any of the three approved vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson) for your booster shot. Boosters from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred in most situations, the CDC says. People 12-17 years old can only get the Pfizer booster at this time.
The CDC is also recommending that moderately or severely immunocompromised 5–11-year-olds get an additional dose of the COVID vaccine 28 days after their second shot. Currently, only the Pfizer shot is authorized and recommended for children ages 5-11.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients
If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine earlier this year, the CDC says you should get a booster shot if you are 18 or older. You should get the booster at least two months after your original shot.
You don’t have to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine again. You can pick between any of the vaccines authorized for use — Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer. But the CDC recommends Pfizer or Moderna in most situations.
What to know before you go
- Remember to bring your COVID-19 vaccine record card with you so the provider can add information about your booster shot. If you don’t have one, contact the place where you first got your vaccination or the state health department to see how to get a card.
- You may have side effects, like tiredness or fever, from the booster, but this is normal, and they should go away in a few days. Read more about possible side effects here.
Where to get a booster in Austin
COVID vaccines are now widely available, unlike at the start of the vaccine rollout. According to the nationwide vaccine locator Vaccines.gov, you should be able to get a booster at any place that provides COVID-19 vaccines.
For example, boosters are now available at all of Austin Public Health’s vaccine clinics. You can walk up to one of the clinics to get a shot or schedule an appointment online or over the phone by calling 512-974-2000. APH offers Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Travis County is also offering booster shots at its weekly vaccine events. No appointment is required.
The organization VaxTogetherAustin is offering booster shots at some of its vaccine clinics around Central Texas. Learn more here.
UT Health Austin is offering booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine. You can make an appointment online or by calling 1-833-UT-CARES (1-833-882-2737).