CDC advice: Ages 50+ need boosters

A black woman wearing a mask gets vaccinated by a doctor

By Jennifer Dunlay

If you’re over 50 and have not received a COVID-19 vaccine since the beginning of the year, it’s time to think about getting a first or second booster dose if you’re eligible.

COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the country leading to more hospitalizations and deaths in older Americans. The CDC urges everyone over age 5 to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine five months after finishing the primary two dose vaccination series. A
second booster is strongly recommended for those age 50 and older, and those age 12 and older who are immunocompromised, at least four months after receiving the first booster.

COVID-19 vaccine boosters can further enhance or restore protection that might have decreased over time after your primary series vaccination. If you are over age 50, you’re considered up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines immediately after getting your second booster.

Booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are free and widely available in pharmacies, grocery stores, doctors’ offices and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s walk-in clinics in Olathe and Mission. You can also find a nearby vaccine provider at

No appointment or photo identification is necessary to get a COVID-19 vaccination or booster from JCDHE. JCDHE also provides free at-home COVID-19 test kits (while supplies are available) at its Olathe office via a drive-thru clinic on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. No appointment or photo identification is necessary to pick up a test.

The federal government also allows every residence to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests at For more information about COVID-19 test kit distribution or vaccinations in Johnson County, visit or call 913-715-2819, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jennifer Dunlay is risk communicator for the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. The information in this article was accurate at the time of publishing but is subject to change as new data become available.