Leaders of more states have moved to endorse COVID-19 booster shots for all adults, bringing the total to seven states nationwide, including Arkansas, California, Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and West Virginia.
It comes after Pfizer last week formally asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow all American adults to be eligible for booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine, citing recent data showing a third dose would help prevent severe disease. The FDA has yet to make a decision on Pfizer’s request.
The FDA has over the past several months authorized the drug manufacturer’s booster shot for the elderly, the immunocompromised, all people at high risk of severe disease, and those who are regularly exposed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
The Biden administration in August announced plans to roll out booster doses for all adults in September before the FDA’s advisers had recommended a limited authorization. Booster doses of all three vaccine types—Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson—have been cleared for use in the United States.
Last week, officials in California, Colorado, and New Mexico said any resident over the age of 18 who received a Moderna or Pfizer series at least six months ago or a Johnson & Johnson jab at least two months ago can get a booster.
Dave Chokshi, commissioner of New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, meanwhile announced on Monday that all adult residents are now eligible for a booster shot.
Any health care provider in New York City “should not turn a patient away if they request a booster as long as they are 18 and older and it has been at least 6 months since a Moderna or Pfizer dose or at least 2 months since a Johnson & Johnson dose,” Chokshi wrote on Twitter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of Monday states that anyone 65 or older who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or a Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago “should receive a booster shot.”
The CDC advises that those aged 18 or older, “may receive a booster shot” at least six months after completing the primary series of shots if they have underlying medical conditions or are often in long-term care settings or high-risk settings.
As of Tuesday, about 30.7 million people in the United States have received a COVID-19 booster shot.
Infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci meanwhile suggested on Tuesday that booster shots for all will be key to the United States reaching COVID-19 endemic level.
“To me, if you want to get to endemic, you have got to get the level of infection so low that it does not have an impact on society, on your life, on your economy,” Fauci said in an interview during the Reuters Total Health conference. “People will still get infected. People might still get hospitalized, but the level would be so low that we don’t think about it all the time and it doesn’t influence what we do.”
“Look what other countries are doing now about adopting a booster campaign virtually for everybody. I think if we do that, and we do it in earnest, I think by the spring we can have pretty good control of this,” Fauci added.
Mimi Nguyen Ly and Reuters contributed to this report.