More states expand access to boosters to all adults before FDA
Massachusetts on Thursday joined a growing number of states in expanding access to coronavirus vaccine boosters for all adults, as federal regulators Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna consider requests to authorize boosters earlier this week for all adults. are, according to people familiar with the plan.
Charlie Baker’s administration announced that all Massachusetts residents 18 years of age and older can get a booster if they meet federal timing rules: six months after receiving a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. or two months before receiving a single-dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
While federal regulators have only signed off on boosters for certain categories of people, some states have used a number of justifications to expand access, including holiday gatherings and the risks posed by the virus’s wider spread.
In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont encouraged vaccinated adults to receive boosters provided they meet timing rules, even if they don’t fit federal eligibility categories.
“CDC speaks Latin, I can’t figure out who is eligible, who is not eligible,” Mr Lamont said at a news conference on Thursday, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “If you smoked in high school in the 1970s, you’re eligible. I think it’s time to get a booster if you haven’t been vaccinated in more than six months. Self-report, you are at risk or facing the public, there you are, get a booster.”
Kansas, Kentucky, Maine and Vermont also moved to expand access to boosters, following several other states and New York City.
The director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott announced Tuesday that all adults can get a booster if they exceed federal timing rules. “Winter is approaching, our cases have increased and everyone who is 18 years of age and above is at a higher risk of being exposed to it. And so we want the message to go that you can go ahead and get your booster shots,” she said at a news conference.
Currently, federal regulators mandate that people who receive two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines, meet timing regulations, and are 65 years of age or older, or adults who have been diagnosed with their medical conditions, jobs or are considered to be at particular risk due to the living environment, they are eligible for boosters. Anyone receiving a Johnson & Johnson shot can receive a booster only two months after the first shot. Eligible people may choose one of three vaccine brands as a booster.
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.
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