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COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster

Not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations? Take a minute to schedule your primary series vaccination or booster shot with The University of Kansas Health System or your local pharmacy.

Getting the full vaccination series and booster protection can decrease the likelihood of severe illness or death from COVID-19 infection. Booster shots are now bivalent, which means they provide broader protection for current and future COVID-19 variants.

Primary series vaccination and bivalent boosters are recommended for most people 6 months and older. For children ages 6 months-4 years, there may be exceptions for bivalent boosters, depending on the primary series they received.

Bivalent boosters are administered at least 2 months after completion of the primary series. Those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised may receive a bivalent booster 2 months or more after receiving their most recent monovalent booster.

Currently, the CDC recommends only 1 dose of bivalent booster.

For detailed vaccination and booster information for all age groups, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The health system provides vaccinations by appointment only. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout the appointment.

What can I expect after a COVID-19 vaccine?

Some side effects from the vaccine are normal and should go away in a few days. Symptoms after your vaccine or booster are a sign that your body is strengthening its immune system. Common symptoms are pain, redness and swelling of the injected arm, as well as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends contacting your doctor or healthcare provider if the redness or tenderness at the injection site gets worse after 24 hours or if the side effects are worrying or don’t appear to subside after a few days.

To relieve discomfort after vaccination, talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (only for people ages 18 or older) or antihistamines.

A 3rd vaccination dose for immunocompromised patients

For moderately to severely immunocompromised patients ages 12 and older, a 3rd dose is recommended in the primary series, as well as subsequent boosters. A 3rd dose as part of the primary series is available only for those who meet CDC criteria and received 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

To learn more about vaccine recommendations for moderately to severely immunocompromised people, see CDC guidelines.

COVID-19 boosters for most

To strengthen immunity and better protect against severe disease and death, everyone 5 years and older and most children ages 6 months-4 years should get a booster shot after their primary series. People 50 and older or moderately or severely immunocompromised people may be advised to get 2 boosters on an appropriate schedule.

Boosters for everyone 5 years and older are now bivalent, providing greater protection against newer COVID-19 strains. For children 6 months-4 years, bivalent boosters may or may not be recommended, depending on the primary series they received.

Everyone who received the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine should receive a COVID-19 booster or boosters.

To get a booster, visit your local pharmacy or schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.

Do not schedule a vaccination if you currently have COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19 or are in quarantine or isolation. Wait until you are free of symptoms and no longer in quarantine. If you have severe or long-lasting symptoms, contact your primary care provider for guidance.

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