On Wednesday, Kentucky and Vermont joined other states in expanding access for all adults to coronavirus vaccine boosters. According to sources familiar with the planning, federal regulators are considering authorizing Pfizer-BioNTech boosters for all adults as soon as this week.
The state leaders have used a variety of reasons to not wait for federal decisions on boosters. These include concerns about holiday gatherings and winter temperatures driving people indoors, rising cases, and confusion among residents about eligibility. Federal regulators say boosters are available for adults who meet their eligibility categories and are at least six months past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or are two months past receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination.
Gov. Andy Beshear from Kentucky issued an executive directive that allows any adult to get boosters provided they follow timing rules. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly stated that vaccine providers should be able to give people information about their risk exposure. The entire state is at high risk and urged all adults to get boosters. Governor. Phil Scott, Governor of Vermont, expanded booster access for all adults and stated that the state would simplify online registration for state-run vaccine clinics and allow walk-in appointments.
Governor. Janet Mills announced that every adult resident would be eligible for a booster shot due to the high risk of being exposed across the state.
Federal regulators currently say that boosters are available for people who have received two doses Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, are 65 years or older, and who are at high risk due to their job, medical conditions, or living environment. Anyone who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot can already get a booster. A booster can be purchased by eligible individuals from any of the three vaccine brands.
The Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention has notified health care providers of the expanded eligibility for the booster shot, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
Monday was Monday in New York City when authorities encouraged all adults who are over 18 to get the booster. Access to the booster has been expanded in Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and California.
A growing body of early global research has shown that the vaccines available in the United States have remained highly protective against the disease’s worst outcomes over time, even during the summer surge of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Experts continue to debate whether additional shots are needed for younger, healthier adults.
Ms. Mills justification for broadening access was that Maine had seen widespread spread of the virus and it qualifies as a high-risk environment for federal regulators to approve boosters.
“With Maine and other New England states confronting a sustained surge, and with cold weather sending people indoors, we want to simplify the federal government’s complicated eligibility guidelines and make getting a booster shot as straightforward and easy as possible,” the governor said in a statement.
Source: NY Times