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Wisconsin health department recommends all adults get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot

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COVID-19 Pfizer Booster Shots

Managing Pharmacist Brian Bock administers the Pfizer booster vaccine to Bruce Hunt at Good Value Pharmacy, 5220 Washington Ave., on Sept. 28.

All Wisconsin adults are now recommended to receive booster doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine; booster doses are strongly recommended for everyone 50 years old and older, who are at the greatest risk for severe illness from the novel coronavirus, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced Friday.

COVID outcomes chart

DHS says it supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that almost everyone 18 years old and older receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after having received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

The CDC’s recommendations now also allow for mix-and-match dosing for booster doses. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster.

Finley Strauss-Thompkins, 10, of Racine gets COVID-19 vaccination

Finley Strauss-Thompkins, 10, of Racine, shows off the bandage over where she got her first COVID-19 vaccine dose on Nov. 6 outside a Walgreens pharmacy in Caledonia.

Every American age 5 and up is also eligible to receive a vaccine, although children are not recommended to get booster shots at this time.

Karen Timberlake, the DHS Secretary-designee, said in a statement, “The approval of vaccine booster doses for all adults is an opportunity for more Wisconsinites to get additional protection from COVID-19.”

“The COVID-19 vaccines are an important tool for preventing the worst outcomes and slowing the spread of COVID-19, which is essential as many folks plan to gather together for the upcoming holiday season,” she continued.

More than 840,000 Wisconsinites have already received their booster or additional COVID-19 vaccine dose, she said.

The CDC extended eligibility for:

  • Everyone 18 years old and up at least six months after they received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.
  • People who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are also eligible for a booster dose of any of the available COVID-19 vaccines.
  • For the people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine first, booster shots are recommended by the CDC for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
Dr. Ryan Westergaard


“Getting everyone vaccinated continues to be our top priority for preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for DHS.

Statewide, 55.5% of Wisconsinites have completed their full vaccine series — i.e., they have received both doses of Pfizer or Moderna's vaccines, or received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — according to DHS. In Racine County, that percentage falls to 52.6%. Both of those percentages are behind the nationwide average, which is around 59%.

“Too many of us remain unprotected going into the winter season,” Westergaard said. “Getting a booster dose when it’s time to do so, and continuing to get our children 5 and older vaccinated will slow the spread of the virus and save lives.”

Given that evidence suggests immunity is waning over time for some people who were initially well-protected by the vaccine, the booster dose can strengthen and extend their protection against infection, serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, experts believe.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine provider, visit, or call 211 or 877-947-2211.



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