Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for the COVID-19 booster doses of Pfizer vaccine?
The following individuals who were fully vaccinated with Pfizer vaccines and six months have passed since receiving their second shot are now eligible for a booster dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine:
- People 18 years and older
What is a booster?
A booster is an additional dose of vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot(s) has begun to decrease over time. A booster is designed to help you maintain your level of protection against a disease for longer.
Why do I need a booster?
COVID-19 vaccines continue to be remarkably effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has evaluated data that show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less able to protect against variants.
This lower effectiveness is likely due to the combination of decreasing protection as time passes since getting vaccinated as well as the greater infectiousness of the Delta variant. A booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease.
Am I fully vaccinated without a booster?
Persons are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-shot series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
While persons who have received two doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are still fully vaccinated, we encourage patients and workforce members who fall into one of the above categories to seek a booster dose.
If I need a booster shot, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?
No. COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection, especially among certain populations, against mild and moderate disease.
Do I need to bring my COVID-19 vaccination card to my Pfizer booster appointment?
Yes. When receiving your booster, please bring your COVID-19 vaccination card to your appointment. If you lost your vaccine card, please refer to the following instructions:
- If you are registered with the CDC's V-Safe program to track post-vaccine side effects and symptoms, you can access your dates of COVID-19 vaccination in the app. Click here to access V-Safe.
- You may also contact the Texas State Health Department to request a record of your immunization at 800.252.9152 or Immtrac@dshs.state.tx.us.
- If you received your vaccine in another state, please click here for a listing of state health departments.
What should people who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine do?
Texas Children’s patients are now able to receive COVID-19 booster doses for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
The qualifications are that individuals be:
- Fully vaccinated with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and six months have passed since receiving your second dose
- 18 years of age and older
Do I need to get the same brand of vaccine for my booster?
Yes. Only individuals listed above who were fully vaccinated with Pfizer vaccines and six months have passed since receiving their second shot are eligible for a booster dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Are boosters a full dose or half dose of the Pfizer vaccine?
A Pfizer booster is one full dose of Pfizer vaccine, according to the FDA. However, this may not be the same for other COVID-19 vaccine boosters.
Should I expect side effects after the booster dose?
Persons who receive a booster dose should expect similar or slightly less frequent side effects than those experienced after the first two doses. Common side effects are generally mild such as localized pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, and fatigue, headache, and low-grade fever.
Can I get a flu vaccination at the same time as my COVID-19 booster?
Yes. The COVID-19 booster dose may be given at any time, including before, after or at the same time as other vaccines, including the flu vaccine.