Will you get the vaccine as soon as available to you?

I know that early on the definition of “fully vaccinated” was 2 doses (using Pfizer as an example). How many Pfizer doses does it take to be considered fully vaccinated now in 2024? I genuinely don’t know, so TIA if you can tell me.

At this point, I just consider them to be maintenance doses, like the flu shot, get one annually, but I’m just a life actuary.

Yeah, I get that. I’m wondering if there is an official or semi-official number.

IOW, if one followed the recommended schedule, how many shots is that?

This doesn’t cover every situation but it’s a pretty picture:

I’m confused by that chart. What constitutes “vaccinated” and “unvaccinated”? What is the difference in the rows? Is a currently “unvaccinated” adult out of luck if the updated vaccine is not available? How do we know what is available?

I suspect that I am behind schedule but I don’t understand that chart enough to draw that conclusion definitively.

I am also confused, but, the way I read it, you qualify as “vaccinated “ because you have previously received one (or more!) vaccine shots.

What the chart leaves out, which would be helpful to me, is the timing of subsequent shots. How often am I supposed to get this thing whether it’s an updated formula or not?

Each blue section of two-rows is by age. You will be in the bottom section. Then, slide on over to the “vaccinated “ column. There is no difference in recommended course of action but they have arrows for both having previously received an mRNA shot vs novavax/janssen.

At least, that’s what I get out of it.

Thanks, but the chart isn’t very clear.

If someone got the 2 doses as soon as they were available and then got each subsequent recommended shot as soon as they were eligible, how many would that be? That’s what I’m trying to learn.

I know y’all ain’t my Google monkeys, but I figured someone here might know. There’s been a lot of enthusiasm for the shots ITT and someone here might be following that schedule.

I think I’m up to 5 total, but honestly I’ve lost count.

If I caught Covid in December, am I vaccinated? Or “immunized”? Other?

I can tell you this with certainty - here are the shots I’ve received and they’ve pretty much been based on some “time to get your shot” advice I had heard (in one way or another ) from the cdc:

Moderna 01/22/2021, 02/24/2021, 11/06/2021, 09/11/2022, 09/29/2023

I parse that as saying that for people over the age of 4, you’re considered “vaccinated” if you’ve had one dose of the current formulation of the COVID vaccines, regardless of whether/how many prior doses you’ve received (much like the flu shots).

I thought that a year ago they still wanted adults to get two doses to start, and then annual thereafter.


That seems right…I suppose I was not aware that a 5th vaccine was recommended for me yet as the last time I checked I think the 23-24 formula was for higher risk, but I’ll admit I have stopped paying close attention.

The kids seem to bring COVID home from school often enough that I don’t feel like it’s really necessary to get another shot. So far, I have only had COVID once (between shot 3&4) and had it lurking in my home at least twice since then without catching it. Perhaps if I go a year since either having it or having a known close exposure, I might consider a booster, but so far that has not happened.

The other variable is the experiences of others who have generally described it as much milder than their first round with it. There is the issue of what to do when you have COVID and potentially missing out on something because of it, but that should hopefully also begin to fade and the usual decisions you make when having an ordinary cold should apply.

I understand that different people will make their own decisions. I’m wondering what the total # shots would be if someone followed the CDC recs to a “t”

Maybe I can piece it together from historical CDC recs. Might need the wayback archive to get that info.

So, the total number of shots, if you follow the CDC recommendations to the T, will vary based on your age and immune status. There were one or two boosters recommended only to old people, and right now, immune compromised people are advised to get additional doses that the rest of us aren’t eligible for. So you aren’t going to get a clear answer.

Also, the current recommendations assume that everyone over age 5-ish has been exposed (either from vaccines or infection or both) and only recommends that you keep “current”, which is to say, they recommend that everyone get the latest version of the vaccine (released this fall) if they haven’t, yet.

This is similar to how the CDC recommends flu shots. There no “fully vaccinated” for flu, just “currently vaccinated”.

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Related, the CDC is an outlier in recommending the latest booster to everyone. Now that everyone (more or less) has been exposed, many countries are only recommending booster shots to older people, people who are immune compromised, people who work in healthcare or with medically vulnerable people, and people who live with medically vulnerable people.

Of course, the US is also an outlier in having shitty sick leave policies and shitty healthcare coverage, so it’s not crazy to invest more in vaccines.

The answer to your questions seems to be 5. 2 initial doses, a booster around +6 months (fall 21), and 2 annual fall boosters.

Thanks y’all

so 5-ish to 9-ish depending on circumstances for adults

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If you’re counting the number of vaccines that someone who had access since the beginning and was vaccinated each time it was recommended.

If you’ve never been vaccinated and now want to be and you’re 5 years old or older, getting a single updated vaccine will place you in the “up to date” category.

I think the term “fully vaccinated” now only applies to the under 5 group (who need a series of 2-3 vaccines, depending on age).


Our little one is under 5 and she got the three shots (Pfizer).

Just curious, but which manufacturer is two shots for the under 5s?