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When can I get my COVID-19 vaccine booster shot?

U.S. health experts now recommend vaccine boosters for most Americans to help protect against the delta variant that continues to run rampant.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — U.S. health experts are now recommending COVID-19 vaccine boosters for most Americans. They made the announcement Wednesday.

The plan still needs FDA approval before boosters can actually be given.

Experts said the booster would give extra protection from the delta variant that's running rampant, partly because so many Americans haven't been vaccinated.

There have also been breakthrough cases but most people who are fully vaccinated have mild symptoms and don't need to be hospitalized.

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In Israel, preliminary studies suggest the vaccine’s protection against serious illness from the delta virus dropped among those vaccinated in January.

U.S. experts are studying case numbers here as the number of breakthrough cases increases.

COVID booster vaccine details

  • The recommendation includes everyone who got Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
  • The boosters would be given eight months after you got your second vaccine. So September if you got your second dose in January, October for February, November for March, and so on.
  • Healthcare workers, nursing home residents and other older Americans who were the first to be vaccinated will also be first to get the booster.
  • They are also recommended for ages 12 and up.
  • Doses would only begin to be administered widely once the Food and Drug Administration formally approves the vaccines. That action is expected for the Pfizer shot in the coming weeks.
  • The boosters could begin as early as the week of September 20.
  • There is no booster for the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. In one study published last month in The New England Journal of Medicine, J&J researchers found the company’s vaccine offers lasting protection.
  • Researchers are continuing to study information about the J&J vaccine, which was only approved in the U.S. in late February, to determine when to recommend boosters, one of the officials said.
  • Right now, people with weak immune systems who had the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines can get a third shot. That includes cancer patients, organ transplant patients and people with HIV.
  • The White House has said that even though the U.S. has begun sharing more than 110 million vaccine doses with the world, the nation has enough domestic supply to deliver boosters to Americans should they be recommended by health officials.
  • Nearly 200 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with more than 168 million fully vaccinated.

WATCH: President Biden on COVID-19 vaccine