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 booster vaccines approved by the FDA (as of September 8, 2022) are the Pfizer-BioNTech (age 12+) and Moderna (age 18+) 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

*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

*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 September 2022