FDA Authorizes Second COVID-19 Booster for Older and High-Risk Individuals

May 9, 2023

On April 17th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a second COVID-19 booster shot for older, high-risk individuals who received their initial doses at least six months ago. The authorization comes after studies have shown that these individuals have a greater risk of severe illness and death from the virus.

The booster shot is authorized for individuals 65 and older and those aged 18 to 64 with underlying medical conditions or working in high-risk settings such as healthcare facilities. The booster shot is specifically authorized for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine; individuals who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine will need further authorization. It is recommended that individuals receive the same vaccine as their initial doses. Still, an alternative vaccine can be used if that vaccine is unavailable. The booster shot should be administered at least six months after the second dose of the initial vaccine series.

The FDA's authorization of the second COVID-19 booster shot for older and high-risk individuals is a significant step in combating the pandemic. Those eligible for the booster shot can find vaccine centers near them using this  Vaccine Finder tool. Appointments can be made through the same website or by calling your local health department or pharmacy. It is important to continue to practice COVID-19 prevention measures, such as wearing masks and social distancing, even after receiving the booster shot to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. It is important for eligible individuals to take advantage of this opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones!