Breaking News
More () »

VERIFY: Are more people getting boosters than the first COVID vaccine dose?

Here's what we found

ATLANTA — People can now get access to boosters from all three approved COVID-19 vaccines. We’ll soon enter month 11 of vaccine accessibility in the U.S.

Children between 5 and 11 years old may soon have access to the vaccine, with the White House already making plans to vaccinate 28 million children in that age group.

As the access to COVID vaccines and booster shots grow, we wanted to check, are more people getting the booster shot than the first dose of the COVID vaccine?


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention





Looking at CDC data from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, 2.7 million shots were boosters, around 2 million were first dose shots and another 2 million were second dose shots. 

How is this possible and why is it happening?

As of Oct. 21, there are more vaccinated or half-vaccinated people in the country than there are unvaccinated people. So, the pool of people who are likely to get another dose is larger than the pool of people who’ve yet to get one.

And several articles point out it’s easier to convince an already vaccinated person to get a booster, than it is to convince someone who may still be hesitant about getting the vaccine at all. 

An Axios-Ipsos poll shows 20 percent of unvaccinated Americans are not very likely or not likely at all to get the vaccine, as protests over vaccine mandates continue across the country.

Still, as more people get their third shot and with the ability to now mix-and-match boosters, top health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, are hopeful this will offer additional protection as winter approaches 

"You want to get people optimally vaccinated and optimally protected," Fauci said.

If you have received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you're eligible for a boost if you are more than six months out, over 65, have underlying medical conditions, or if you live or work in high-risk places.

For Johnson and Johnson, you’re eligible for a boost, if you have received your shot two months before getting a third dose.