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The states making COVID-19 boosters available to any adults

November 16, 2021, 2:48 PM UTC

Health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration have outlined very specific conditions on who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster. But some states and cities are taking matters into their own hands.

With winter looming, people gathering for the holidays again, and fears of another winter surge growing, several areas have started to offer boosters to any adult who wants them, not just those who have medical conditions, work in high-risk jobs, or are elderly.

On Monday, Arkansas, West Virginia, and New York City joined the growing list of states and cities that have green-lit the additional jab. Adults must be six months out from their second dose, assuming they got a vaccine from Moderna or Pfizer (anyone who got the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine is already being encouraged by federal health care officials to get a booster).

Last Thursday, Colorado expanded its eligibility guidelines, allowing anyone over 18 to get a booster, as coronavirus rates continue to rise in that state and hospitalizations increase.

California and New Mexico have also opened boosters up to all adults.

The moves come as the Biden administration continues to review data on the impact of booster shots. Pfizer, earlier this month, asked the FDA to authorize an additional dose of its vaccine for all adults, as well. (The FDA has yet to rule on that motion, and only agreed to the narrow scope in the company’s initial booster authorization request.)

To date, 30.1 million people in the U.S. have received a booster dose of the COVID vaccine, according to the CDC. That’s about 15% of the 195.3 million people who are fully vaccinated against the virus.

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