7 Exercise Tips How to Stream 'Rabbit Hole' Roblox's AI Efforts 9 Household Items You're Not Cleaning Enough Better Sound on FaceTime Calls 'X-Ray Vision' for AR 9 Signs You Need Glasses When Your Tax Refund Will Arrive
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

The CDC shortens Moderna booster waiting period

Now people who got Moderna's (or Pfizer's) COVID-19 vaccine can get a booster shot five months after their second dose, instead of six.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday adjusted its recommendation for people who got Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, saying they can get a booster five months after their second dose, instead of waiting six months.

The CDC's recommendation followed an identical adjustment by the US Food and Drug Administration earlier Friday. Days before, both agencies made the same adjustment in regard to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. 

Now people who got Moderna's or Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine can get a booster at least five months after their second dose, instead of six. Moderna's vaccine is authorized only for adults, while Pfizer's is authorized for kids as young as 5. 

The booster recommendation for people who got Johnson & Johnson's vaccine hasn't changed. They should get a booster at least two months after their vaccine, and in most cases choose Pfizer or Moderna for that shot. The CDC has said people can "mix and match" vaccines as booster doses. 

People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and are advised to get a third dose as part of the primary series of Pfizer's or Moderna's shots are eligible for a booster (fourth dose) at least five months after their third dose. 

Boosters have been available for everyone age 12 and up as health officials encourage extra doses as a way to maximize protection against COVID-19 disease caused by the omicron variant. Though a two-dose series of an mRNA vaccine (like Moderna's or Pfizer's) is now about 35% effective against coronavirus infection, according to a Dec. 27 statement from the CDC, a booster dose restores that protection to about 75%. 

The booster rollout in the US has been a controversial one. Some health officials have called on countries such as the US and Israel to stop giving extra doses to healthy people while as few as 8.9% of people in low-income countries have had one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Our World in Data. Though the new omicron variant does evade some immunity, including that which comes from our vaccines, adults and children who haven't received any COVID-19 shot continue to be much more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 or die from the disease compared with fully vaccinated people.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.