Get the Basics: COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults (Age 65+)

Protect yourself against COVID-19. Be up to date with your vaccines!

You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine if you have gotten your primary series of COVID-19 shots and a bivalent booster (the updated booster).

The bivalent COVID-19 vaccines protect us against two different strains of COVID-19. The only COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccines approved by the FDA (as of October 27, 2022) are the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna (age 5+) bivalent vaccines.
Approved COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults (age 65+)
Vaccine Primary Series Bivalent Boosters
Pfizer-BioNTech 2 shots, 3 weeks apart

1 shot, at least 2 months after your last primary series shot or any other booster shots you received.

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

Moderna 2 shots, 4 weeks apart

1 shot, at least 2 months after your last primary series shot or any other booster shots you received.

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

Novavax* 2 shots, 3 weeks apart

1 shot, at least 2 months after your last primary series shot or any other booster shots you received.

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

Johnson & Johnson/Janssen**
  • 1 shot of J&J/Janssen vaccine
  • 1 booster shot of either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech at least two months after first shot of J&J/Janssen

1 shot, at least 2 months after your last primary series shot or any other booster shots you received.

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

*The monovalent Novavax vaccine may be used as a booster dose in limited situations in people ages 18 years and older. It may be used for those who have not received any previous booster dose(s), and who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine and would otherwise not receive a booster dose.

**In most cases, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax vaccines are recommended over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Recommendations for Immunocompromised Older Adults (65+)

A person is immunocompromised when their immune system is weak. These people may have more trouble fighting COVID-19 and are at higher risk of getting seriously sick or dying from COVID-19.  You may have a weak immune system if you have cancer, diabetes, or heart conditions, for example. These are just a few of the diseases that can make your immune system weak. Please check with your healthcare provider to see if you have a medical problem that makes your immune system weak.

Approved COVID-19 Vaccines for Immunocompromised Older Adults (age 65+)

Vaccine Primary Series Bivalent Boosters
Pfizer-BioNTech

3 shots

  • 2nd shot given 3 weeks after 1st shot
  • 3rd shot given at least 4 weeks after 2nd shot

1 shot, at least 2 months after your last primary series shot or last booster

Must be Pfizer-BioNTech

Moderna

3 shots

  • 2nd shot given 4 weeks after 1st shot
  • 3rd shot given at least 4 weeks after 2nd shot

1 shot, at least 2 months after your last primary series shot or last booster

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

Novavax*
  • 2 shots, 3 weeks apart

1 shot, at least 2 months after your last primary series shot or last booster

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

Johnson & Johnson/Janssen**
  • 2 shots, 4 weeks apart
  • 2nd shot should be Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna
 

1 shot, at least 2 months after your last primary series shot or last booster

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

*The monovalent Novavax vaccine may be used as a booster dose in limited situations in people ages 18 years and older. It may be used for those who have not received any previous booster dose(s), and who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine and would otherwise not receive a booster dose.

**In most cases, Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax vaccines are recommended over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The vaccine is available at no cost to you:

  • If you have Medicare, you will not have to pay to get vaccinated.
  • Medicaid and private health insurance plans cover all vaccine costs.
  • If you are uninsured, you can get free vaccines.  

Vaccines are available at many locations:

  • Most drug stores
  • Community health centers
  • State or local health departments

Find a COVID-19 vaccine location near you:

  • Ask your doctor or healthcare provider
  • Call 1-800-232-0233
  • Text your zip code to 438829 or visit vaccines.gov

 

Last Updated October 2022