clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How long does it take for your COVID-19 booster to work?

The COVID-19 booster shots are here. So how long do they need to work?

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.
A droplet falls from a syringe after a person was injected with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in Providence, R.I., on Dec. 15, 2020.
David Goldman, Associated Press

The coronavirus vaccine booster shots are available to all Americans. But there’s a good chance your shot won’t start working before your family gathers this week.

How long does it take for your booster to work?

Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, told ABC News that the body will start to increase antibodies within a few days of the shot.

  • But you will still need two weeks for peak immunity to return.
  • “There is a meaningful increase in antibody titers by one week and peak responses at two weeks following mRNA boosting,” Barouch said.

When are the booster shots most effective?

Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease specialist at South Shore Health in Massachusetts, said that the highest antibody count will come 10 to 14 days after you get the shot, according to ABC News.

  • “The booster shot will have a similar response as the second dose of the primary series. The highest antibody level will be around 10-14 days and then things will level off. The antibody levels will decline as it would with all vaccines, however the boosters help to stabilize the antibody levels,” Barouch said.

Can you get a COVID booster shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for all adults in the country, paving the way for adults to get their jabs.

  • The CDC’s statement reads: “We also strongly encourage those who were already eligible ­— older populations and individuals with underlying medical conditions ­— to get boosted before the holidays.”

Utah Department of Health spokesman Tom Hudachko told the Deseret News that Utah hopes to see more people get their vaccine booster shots.

  • “We really hope that over the course of the coming weeks and months, as we start to get into the winter season and people head indoors, and they’re gathering inside for the holidays, that anybody who’s older than 18 should take advantage of the opportunity to get a booster dose,” he said.