How Long Should You Wait To Get Your Booster After Testing Positive For COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends booster shots for anyone 12 and older. You do have to wait a certain amount of time after getting vaccinated to get your booster shot — and how long depends on which vaccine you received.

People who received the two-dose Pfizer vaccine should wait at least five months to get boosted and those who received the two-dose Moderna vaccine should wait at least six months. If you got the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can get boosted two months later. You can schedule your booster shot at the same place you received your initial vaccine, or you can choose a different location with a new vaccine provider. Conveniently, many pharmacies are offering booster doses. If you've recently tested positive for COVID-19, you may be wondering how long you have to wait before you can get your booster. 

When to get boosted

The CDC requires that you wait to get vaccinated until you have recovered from COVID-19 and have met the criteria for ending isolation, whether you have symptoms or not. In addition, if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you'll need to wait until your quarantine period has ended. These rules are in place, so healthcare workers are not exposed to COVID-19 during vaccination appointments. Experts agree that the same guidelines should be followed regarding boosters (via Seattle Times).

To meet the criteria for ending isolation, you need to have isolated for five days following the start of symptoms or your first positive test. Although you can end isolation after this, you still need to wear a face mask for five more days. You can only end isolation after having no symptoms and being fever-free for at least 24 hours (via CDC).

If you're fully vaccinated and get a breakthrough infection, you may not need a booster shot for up to six months after you've recovered, but it is safe to get one once you've recuperated, according to the Seattle Times.