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Why do we need boosters for the COVID-19 vaccine?

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

Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH explains how boosters help to keep protection levels up in your immune system.

Boosters are the way that you remind your immune system to keep its protection levels up. Because over time, our immune systems slowly decrease their defenses. And, so, we sometimes for certain vaccines have to boost them or give them a second or third or for some vaccines, even a fourth dose to make sure our immune systems remember to have that maximum protection always at the ready, so if you’re ever exposed to that infection, you can fight it immediately.

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.