A COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is prepped to be administered...

A COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is prepped to be administered in November. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Federal, state and local officials and medical experts have been urging people to get vaccinated to help combat COVID-19. Now they’re also recommending those eligible get a booster shot as cases rise and the omicron variant spreads.

Booster doses are free and available around the state. The U.S. has been expanding COVID-19 booster shot eligibility, and the CDC says everyone who is fully vaccinated and is 18 years or older should get one. According to the CDC eligibility guidelines:

  • If you got the initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series: Everyone 12 years and older should get a booster at least five months after the last shot.
  • If you got Moderna: Everyone 18 years and older should get a booster at least five months after the last shot.
  • If you got Johnson & Johnson: Anyone 18 and older should get a booster at least two months after getting the shot.

The CDC’s recommendations allow for those 18 and older to choose which COVID-19 vaccine type to get as a booster shot, which includes mixing and matching brands.

So where can you get a booster shot? Here are some suggestions.

We’ll keep this guide updated as more information becomes available or changes.

Check your local pharmacy. Several major pharmacy chains are offering the booster, such as Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS. These chains ask people to set up appointments instead of arriving as a walk-in for a booster. Stop & Shop pharmacies are also offering appointments for booster shots.

Find a state-run site online. You can find out if you’re eligible and find various state-run sites to schedule an appointment for a booster by visiting this website: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/. The state website says making appointments for booster doses is "strongly recommended."

Check Northwell Health’s website. The provider is operating vaccination sites in Nassau and Suffolk counties. You can filter through the sites here by dose and make an appointment through the portal.

Check the county websites.

Ask your primary care physician. Dr. John D’Angelo, senior vice president and executive director of emergency medicine services at Northwell Health, told Newsday in November that Northwell had rolled out the booster shots to 19 primary care practices.

Try vaccines.gov. The state points to this online search tool that connects you to local locations that have shots.

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