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COVID-19 booster recommendation expands to everyone age 12 and older

Eligibility expansion will further increase protection as omicron variant spreads

OLYMPIA – Youth ages 12 to 17 should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 5 months after completing their primary vaccination series. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has expanded booster dose eligibility to include everyone 12 and older following guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

“We know booster doses increase an individual’s protection against COVID-19, which is especially important as the highly contagious omicron variant spreads across our state,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. “Many Washington residents as young as 12 are now at that five month mark and will benefit from a booster. We highly encourage everyone who is eligible not to delay and get your booster shot today.”

Everyone 12 and older should get a booster dose at least:

  • Five months after completing the Pfizer primary vaccination series,

  • Six months after completing the Moderna primary vaccination series, or

  • Two months after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Across the state, nearly 2 million people have received an additional dose, which includes both boosters and third doses. Boosters can be mixed and matched, which means adults can get any mRNA COVID-19 vaccine available. Pfizer is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized for people ages 17 and younger.

Additional doses now recommended for certain immunocompromised children

This week the CDC expanded recommendations for additional doses for certain immunocompromised children ages 5 through 11, which are consistent with prior recommendations for adults. Moderately or severely immunocompromised people ages 5 and older should receive an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna (if age 18 or older) 28 days after receiving their second shot. A full list of conditions is available on the CDC’s website.

“Children and adults who are immunocompromised are at increased risk for severe infection, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19,” said Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, Chief Science Officer. “Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to protect our communities from the worst outcomes of this disease. Staying current with vaccination recommendations is essential to protecting our most vulnerable.”

Make your vaccine appointment today

To make a vaccine or booster appointment, visit Vaccine Locator,, or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 833-VAX-HELP. Language assistance is available. Those with further questions are encouraged to visit DOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions webpage or talk to their trusted health care provider.

The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection.




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