COVID-19 Vaccine Considerations and Changes as of July 17, 2023
Posted on July 17, 2023
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 guidance and recommendations, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Summary of recent changes
- Everyone 6 years and older should get 1 updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to be up to date.
- People 65 and older may get a 2nd updated vaccine dose.
- People who are immunocompromised may get additional updated vaccine doses. See below for more info.
- Children ages 6 months – 5 years may need 1-3 doses of the updated COVID-19 vaccine, depending on their vaccine history.
Updated CDC Recommendations for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised:
- Immunocompromised people may get more doses depending on their vaccine history
- Immunocompromised people who have never gotten a COVID-19 vaccine before are recommended to get a three-dose series of the updated vaccine over several months
- Immunocompromised people who received only the original vaccine should get 1-2 updated doses.
- Immunocompromised people who have already gotten an updated vaccine may also get 1-2 updated doses.
- Additional updated vaccine doses may be available. Talk to your health provider for more info.
- At the time of your first COVID-19 vaccine, anyone 6 months or older are recommended to get a series of updated vaccines for a total of 3 vaccines over the course of several months.
All of the vaccines below are authorized for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Moderna COVID-19 updated vaccine
- Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 updated vaccine
- Novavax COVID-19 vaccine: only used in certain situations.
Frequently asked questions about COVID-19
What are ‘updated’ COVID-19 vaccines?
Updated vaccines are the most recent version of the COVID-19 vaccine. They target two different strains of COVID-19. These vaccines are more effective than previous vaccines that only targeted the original strain of COVID-19. Protection from vaccines naturally wears off overtime, which is why we need to get updated vaccines.
What does being high-risk for COVID-19 mean?
It means that if you contract COVID-19 you are more likely to be hospitalized, need intensive care, require a ventilator or die.
Who is high-risk for COVID-19?
- Older adults (65 years or older)
- People with disabilities
- People with Cancer
- People with Chronic kidney, liver, or lung disease
- People with Cystic fibrosis
- People with Immunocompromised conditions or weakened immune system
- For a full list of high-risk conditions please visit the CDC website medical conditions that make you high-risk
What is the difference between being “fully vaccinated” and being “up to date” with vaccines?
- “Up to date” means you have received all of the recommended number of COVID-19 vaccines recommended for you by the CDC. Everyone 6 years or older should get at least one updated COVID-19 vaccine to be up to date.
- “Fully vaccinated” is a phrase that was used often when COVID-19 vaccines first came out. It means you have received all of your primary series shots based on your age, health status and vaccine type. Being “fully vaccinated” does not have the same protection as being “up to date.”
- It is recommended that everyone stay “up to date” with COVID-19 vaccines which means getting updated shots as the CDC recommends.
- Being “up to date” provides the best protection against COVID-19.
If we need an updated COVID-19 vaccine, are the vaccines working?
Yes. Vaccine protection naturally wears off over time. It is normal for updated vaccines to be necessary to keep your protection up.
Why should I get vaccinated if I might get COVID-19 anyways?
- COVID-19 vaccines reduce your risk for severe illness, death and hospitalization.
- Even though vaccinated individuals can get COVID-19, their symptoms can be less severe than those who have not gotten vaccinated.
- Unvaccinated people are more likely to get COVID-19, more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from COVID-19.
Should I still be following other public health preventative measures?
- You should do what makes you the most comfortable, regardless of what others are doing around you.
- Those who are high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 may still consider masking and social distancing when in crowds.
Can I get the flu shot at the same time as getting my COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. There is no recommended waiting time between getting your COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines. You can get the COVID vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time.
Does the end of the public health emergency (PHE) mean COVID-19 is over?
No. COVID-19 is still here and people are still getting sick. The public health emergency is over, but COVID-19 still poses a serious risk to individuals that can lead to severe illness or death. The CDC advises everyone to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations.
This material is presented for educational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor is it offered as such by the author and speaker. The material is intended to be timely as of the date written and/or originally presented. Information contained in these materials may become outdated. It is the responsibility of any individual using or relying on these materials to confirm their timeliness. The material presented is not intended as medical advice nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.