4 more states expand access to boosters for adults ahead of FDA

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4 more states expand access to boosters for adults ahead of FDA

Kansas, Kentucky, Maine and Vermont joined several states across the United States on Wednesday in expanding access to coronavirus vaccine boosters to all adults. Federal regulators consider granting requests for Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna Booster for all adults as early as this week, according to people familiar with the plan.

State leaders have used a variety of justifications for not waiting for federal decisions on boosters, ranging from concerns about holiday season gatherings and winter temperatures to people staying indoors to rising cases and eligibility for residents. Confusion between. Federal regulators say boosters are available to adults who meet their eligibility categories and are at least six months before their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two months after receiving a single dose of Johnson & Johnson. months ago.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued an executive order allowing any adult to receive a booster, provided they meet the timing rules. In Kansas, Gov. Laura Kelly said vaccine providers should allow people to determine their level of exposure and that the entire state was at high risk, urging all adults to get a booster. And Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont expanded booster access to all adults and said the state would simplify online registration for state-run vaccination clinics and allow walk-in appointments.

Citing the continued increase in cases in Maine, Governor Janet Mills announced that all adult residents would be eligible for a booster shot because of their high risk of exposure across the state.

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Currently, federal regulators state that people who have received two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines are 65 years of age or older, or adults who are at particular risk because of their medical conditions, job or living environment. are considered eligible for boosters. Anyone receiving a single dose of a Johnson & Johnson shot may already be receiving a booster. Eligible people may choose one of three vaccine brands as a booster.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has notified health care providers of expanded eligibility for a booster shot.

New York City officials on Monday encouraged all adults to get a booster. Arkansas, California, Colorado and New Mexico have also moved to expand reach.

A growing body of preliminary global research has shown that vaccines available in the United States remain highly protective against the worst of the disease over time, even during the summer boom of the highly permeable delta variant. And there is an ongoing debate among experts about whether additional shots are necessary for young, healthy adults.

Ms Mills justified access to the booster, saying that since the entire state of Maine had seen significant spread of the virus, it qualified as the kind of high-risk environment for which federal regulators would approve the booster. was given.

“With Maine and other New England states facing continued growth, and with cold weather sending people indoors, we want to simplify the federal government’s complex eligibility guidelines and make the booster shot as simple and easy as possible. want to make,” said the governor. Statement.

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