Stay Up to Date with Your COVID-19 Vaccines

This post is an excerpt of the CDC’s webpage, COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots updated on January 7, 2021 and New Mexico Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.

The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19.

Vaccinations remain the best way for New Mexicans to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19. The vaccines are safe, highly effective, and free. Booster shots will also help protect against the new omicron variant, and DOH encourages everyone 12 and older to get a booster shot as soon as possible. Children over the age of five who have not yet been vaccinated should start their two-shot series immediately. 

CDC recommends that people remain up to date with their vaccines, which includes additional doses for individuals who are immunocompromised or booster doses at regular time points. Individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should get an additional primary shot and a booster shot.

Guidance on Booster Doses

Individuals ages 18+

Can receive any COVID-19 vaccine and booster:

  • Pfizer primary series + any brand* booster 5 months after primary
  • Moderna primary series + any brand* booster 6 months after primary series
  • J&J primary series + any brand* booster 2 months after primary dose
  • Mix and match primary and booster vaccine brands is ok

* Per CDC, Pfizer and Moderna m-RNA COVID-19 Vaccines preferred in most situations

Individuals ages 16-17

  • Can receive only Pfizer primary and booster vaccines

Individuals ages 16+ who are moderately or severely immunocompromised

  • Should also get a booster (Four doses total)

Individuals ages 12-15

  • Can receive Pfizer booster doses at 5 months

CDC Expands Booster Shot Eligibility and Strengthens Recommendations for 12-17 Year Olds

January 5, 2021 – CDC is endorsing the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation to expand eligibility of booster doses to those 12 to 15 years old. CDC now recommends that adolescents age 12 to 17 years old should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.

Data show that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen protection against Omicron and other SARS-CoV-2 variants. ACIP reviewed the available safety data following the administration of over 25 million vaccine doses in adolescents; COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents aged 12-17.

Individuals ages 5-11

  • Can receive only Pfizer primary vaccine

Individuals ages 5+ who are moderately or severely immunocompromised

Should get an additional shot after 28 days that matches the primary series

Bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card to your booster shot appointment so your provider can fill in the information about your booster dose. If you did not receive a card at your first appointment, contact the vaccination site where you got your first shot or your state health department to find out how you can get a card.

You may experience side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. These are normal signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19.

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