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The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) announced that all fully vaccinated adults in the U.S. are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. Everyone 18 and older whose second vaccine Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech injection was at least six months ago is urged to schedule an appointment. President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, supports the booster for added protection against COVID, as he has “believed for some time now.”
On Friday, the FDA signed off on its authorization to allow everyone in the United States, at least 18, to have access to COVID-19 booster injections. Several hours later, the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky made the same endorsement following her agency’s independent advisers’ recommendation.
Expanding booster eligibility to all adults effectively sanctions the move several states have already implemented. Those states include:
- Arkansas, Colorado, Louisana, Kansas, Maine, New Mexico, Kentucky, Vermont, and West Virginia promoted widespread COVID-19 booster shots for all adults.
- New York and Rhode Island requested boosters for adults in high-transmission areas.
- California told medical providers not to turn away adults wanting a booster shot.
- New Jersey and Minnesota had announced they would be expanding eligibility in the upcoming days.
In October, when the CDC authorized COVID booster shots for individuals with unlying conditions, they okayed “mixing” brands. So, for example, if a person’s first injections were Pfizer-BioNTech, the booster could be from Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson’s Jannsen.
The CDC recommends those whose first COVID-19 vaccine was Pfizer or Moderna should wait six months before getting a booster, whereas if the first dose was J&J’s Jannsen, then there is only a two-month wait.
Dr. Fauci explained that while the vaccine’s efficacy decreases with time, based on studies, having a booster before six months will not improve the effectiveness.
He further cited two studies from Israel and the U.K. showing the booster dramatically increases protection against COVID-19 infection and related hospitalization.
Everyone eligible should consider getting a COVID booster shot now that winter is approaching, bringing with it cold weather and spending more time indoors. Unfortunately, the virus is still circulating, and cases are starting to increase again. Moreover, this is cold and flu season, and it is easier to become ill when a person’s immune system is lowered.
The CDC reminds everyone that it is not too late for unvaccinated people to be vaccinated. Additionally, a person can be injected with both the COVID-19 vaccine or booster and the flu simultaneously.
COVID-19 vaccinations are free to everyone in the U.S. regardless of insurance or immigration status.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Hill: Fauci says all adults should ‘go get boosted;’ by Maureen Breslin
The Hill: All American adults now eligible for coronavirus booster shots; by Nathaniel Weixel
Politico: CDC chief approves Covid-19 boosters for all adults; by Lauren Gardner
CNBC: State officials from California to Maine are already giving out Covid boosters to all adults; by Robert Towey
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Treefort Music Fest’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of NHS Employers’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License