“You Asked, We Answered” is a regular series from VHA providing answers to pertinent medical medical questions. This week’s post is about the COVID-19 booster.


What is different about the updated COVID-19 booster vaccines?

Updated COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccines are designed to offer the best possible protection against both the original virus strain that causes COVID-19 and its Omicron variant. These bivalent vaccines, provided by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, improve upon the monovalent vaccines used throughout the pandemic by adding protection against newer strains.

When you receive an updated booster dose, you will have greater protection against various forms of COVID-19.

Am I eligible to receive an updated COVID-19 booster dose?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you can receive an updated COVID-19 booster dose if you are 12 years of age or older and have already completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series. To be eligible, you must also have received your last dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least two months before your updated booster.

Even if you have already received one or more boosters with the previous monovalent vaccine, and/or have had COVID-19, this new vaccine offers broader protection against newer virus strains and is recommended.

I recently had COVID-19. How long should I wait before receiving an updated COVID-19 booster dose?

If you have recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your dose by three months from when your symptoms started or from when you first received a positive test. As long as you are otherwise eligible, you can receive an updated COVID-19 booster as soon as you have recovered from the infection and safely finished isolating. Even if you have recently had COVID-19, staying up to date with an updated booster dose will strengthen your protection against COVID-19 in the future.

Will an updated COVID-19 booster protect me from flu?

No. To protect yourself from COVID-19 and flu, you will need to receive both an updated COVID-19 booster and a flu shot. If you are eligible to receive an updated COVID-19 booster, you can also safely get your flu shot during the same visit. VA encourages all eligible Veterans to best protect themselves against both COVID-19 and flu.

VA program information

Keep an eye out for more answers to your COVID-19 and vaccine questions and remember to follow good health habits in the meantime.

If you need to schedule a vaccination appointment, you can use CDC or VA tools to find the right location for you. VA continues to offer COVID-19 vaccination at no cost, as well as free COVID-19 testing for eligible Veterans.


By Veterans Health Administration

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Published on Nov. 7, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.3 min.

Views to date: 5,485


  1. Raymond Cote November 22, 2022 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Okay I’ll bite, where and when can I get my flu shot?
    My closest VA facility is in The Villages, Florida 32159
    Ray Cote

  2. Frank Trubio November 22, 2022 at 6:14 am - Reply

    My wife received her last booster shot with me at the VA. Can she still do that? Csm Trubio Retired

  3. Stephanie Asteriadis November 18, 2022 at 10:27 am - Reply

    I think it is unconscionable that Veterans in the Chattanooga, TN area must drive 2 hours to get a COVID booster and a flu shot. You could hole clinics. You could have an RN provide walk-in shots. There are so many ways you could provide this preventive service. For the population you serve, with many of them in the high-risk group, this is being penny-wise and pound foolish.

  4. Michael C Gonzalez November 17, 2022 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    My local clinic does not offer this. Have to drive 50 miles round trip to Viera. I just go to Walgreens 1 mile away and pay for Flu shot COVID updated Moderna is free.

  5. Arnold Cabral November 17, 2022 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    My Health Care belief is that if you need to have a Covid-19 Virus shot and 100percent service connected one of the Veteran Medical Centers Employees should go to your house or your Apartment give you the Covid-19 Virus shot

  6. Tyrone Ruley November 17, 2022 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    I am a Disabled Vet with benefits; however, wife is not covered. Are Vet spouses eligible for booster shots?

  7. JOSEPH PROCOPIO November 7, 2022 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Many of my friends who were vaccinated and boosted caught COVID twice. The vaccines are a failure. Now, Pfizer and Moderna are advertising the “new and improved” vaccines. No unvaccinated family member or friend I know has caught COVID. No public event is requiring masks, yet the V.A. is mandating masks be worn because Biden ordered millions.

    • C. Journey November 7, 2022 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      All our area Hospitals and Medical offices (Non VA) are requiring masks. You bring your own basically or they have them available. Masks are Always necessary for surgery and medical procedures so I don’t think they are over ordered.

    • Michelle November 17, 2022 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      The vaccines were never intended to prevent you from contracting Covid just to help prevent you from dying from Covid.

    • Gary Rethford November 18, 2022 at 8:00 am - Reply

      With well over 1000,000 people dead from Covid Joe, my Dad included I don’t think the President over ordered masks. You gotta look at it different Joe, wearing a mask in a hospital is not about you, it’s about protecting patients from people like you.

    • Lynn R Allen November 21, 2022 at 5:01 pm - Reply

      Horse pucky…

      Sounds like Right Wing unsubstantiated urban BS and propaganda to me brother… Masks required at VA have absolutely nothing to do with Biden and the federal purchase of masks. And the immunizations are meant primarily to keep you out of the hospital and off a ventilator or a trip to ICU, not necessarily keep you from contracting the virus.

      We are all better off with the Vaccines than w/o. And so says every responsible doctor and hospital system I’m affiliated with… I can count the number of patients that looked up to me after being told their O2 sats are too low and we need to put them on a Vent and plead with me to “now” take the COVID immunization. But I have to tell them it’s too late.

      Unfortunately, they probably listened to someone like Joseph here and were left having to deal with their very poor health choice…

      • Janet November 22, 2022 at 6:32 am - Reply

        Thank you, Lynn.

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