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What does a COVID vaccine booster do?

Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Ilan Shapiro, MD explains how boosters help to keep protection levels up in your immune system.
And a lot of people go like, “Well, doc, why I need an extra shot? The booster shot, why so important?” Well, we didn’t know how many booster shots or vaccines we actually needed to make sure that we had enough antibodies to protect our body. Right now, we know that after six months, the antibodies start going down and the chances of getting infected and actually getting complications from the disease start going up. That’s why we started actually proposing the idea of getting a reminder message to our body. That’s actually the booster shot to make sure that our body starts producing again enough antibodies to be protected.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions. Click here for vaccine FAQs from the CDC.

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Everyone ages 5+ can get a COVID-19 vaccine, and those 12+ can get a booster shot.

There is no cost to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., regardless of insurance or immigration status.