COVID-19 Vaccination Saves Lives – Especially if You’re 50 or Older

older man receiving booster shot at clinic

Risk of severe, and potentially fatal, illness from COVID-19 is dramatically higher among adults 50 and older. If you’re 50 to 64 years old, you’re about three times as likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 and 25 times as likely to die of the disease, compared with people ages 18 to 29. And those odds worsen the older you get.

COVID-19 vaccinations provide important protection against the worst COVID-19 outcomes.

Besides age, what else raises my risk of severe COVID-19 illness?

People with weakened immune systems or certain health conditions (for example, heart disease, diabetes, obesity), people who smoke, and pregnant or recently pregnant women are more vulnerable to severe illness if they contract COVID-19. All these groups should stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations. So should people who live or work in long-term care settings.

How can I find a COVID-19 vaccine?

Go to, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a vaccination site near you. (Learn more about the types of COVID-19 vaccines.)

What are the updated COVID-19 vaccines?

The updated “bivalent” vaccine helps protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19 and Omicron, the coronavirus variant that accounts for virtually all new U.S. COVID-19 cases. This vaccination, available from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, is recommended for everyone 6 months or older.

When can I get an updated COVID-19 vaccine?

Adults 18 and older should get an updated COVID-19 vaccine now if:

  • You haven’t yet gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • You’re vaccinated and your last dose was before September 2022.
  • If you’re 65 or older, you can now get a second updated COVID-19 vaccine beginning 4 months after your first.
  • If you have a weakened immune system, you can now get a second updated COVID-19 vaccine beginning 2 months after your first. You can get more doses after that if your doctor recommends them.

Does Medicare cover COVID-19 vaccination?

Yes. Medicare fully covers recommended COVID-19 vaccines. Medicare also provides coverage for other COVID-19-related medical expenses. (Learn more about Medicare’s COVID-19 coverage.)

Help Protect Yourself

Staying Up To Date Vaccines

For more information and resources

Check out the We Can Do This campaign’s Older Adults Toolkit in English or in Spanish: