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Vaccines reduce the risk of infection and are effective at preventing severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death. Vaccines are available at no cost to you and regardless of immigration status.
If you get COVID-19, vaccines reduce your risk of long-term health effects, including long COVID. Even people who have had COVID-19 should get vaccinated.
The vaccines now available from Pfizer and Moderna are bivalent, meaning they protect against both the original COVID-19 virus and omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.
Everyone should stay up to date with their vaccines. That means getting at least one bivalent vaccine dose for people ages 6 years or older. If you have not received a bivalent dose yet, get one as soon as you can.
People ages 6 years and older must receive one bivalent vaccine dose to be considered up to date.
If you recently had COVID-19, you can consider waiting three months before getting your next vaccine dose. You may want to get vaccinated sooner than three months after you had COVID-19 if you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or getting it again. Talk to your provider about when you should get your next vaccine.
Children younger than age 6 still need multiple doses of vaccines. The vaccines for this age group are bivalent, but children under 6 receive a lower dose than the vaccines given to others.
Children who are unvaccinated should receive vaccines on the following schedule:
Children ages 6 months through 5 years who have received one, two or three doses of a monovalent COVID-19 vaccine should receive a bivalent vaccine. The number of bivalent doses they receive will depend on the vaccine and their vaccination history. Ask your child’s provider how many doses they need.
Ask your child’s provider if they will be offering vaccination. Some pharmacies may offer vaccine to children 3 years and older.
A parent or guardian must provide consent for their child to be vaccinated. Consent can be given in person, by phone or in writing, depending on the vaccination site.
While only one bivalent vaccine dose is needed to be up to date, people ages 65 and older and people who have a weakened immune system can get additional doses.
People ages 65 and older can receive one additional bivalent dose at least four months after their initial bivalent dose, for a total of two bivalent vaccine doses.
People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, such as those being treated for cancer and people who have had a solid organ transplant, should get three bivalent vaccine doses as part of their initial vaccine series. They can also get an additional bivalent dose at least two months after the last recommended bivalent dose. Health care providers may also recommend further bivalent doses at least two months after the most recent dose.
If you have questions about how many vaccine doses you should get, talk to your provider.