States are beginning to allow all adults aged 18 and older to receive a COVId-19 vaccine booster dose if they want one.
Current federal guidelines only allow Americans to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna boosters if they are aged 65 and older or are at risk due to underlying conditions or their jobs, while anyone who is an adult can get a Johnson & Johnson booster shot.
But Colorado is going a step further and saying all adults should get one to protect themselves in case of a winter surge.
On Thursday, Colorado Gov Jared Polis (D) signed an executive order allowing residents to get a booster dose.
Meanwhile, on the same day, officials from the California Department of Public Health said no fully vaccinated adult should be denied a booster shot and are pushing for all adults to be allowed to get an extra dose.
It moves the U.S. closer to completing the Biden administration’s goal of boosters for all adults, which was announced over the summer.
Colorado Gov Jared Polis signed an executive order on Thursday allowing all residents to get a booster dose. Pictured: Diana Meyers get a booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Pasadena, California, August 2021
As of Friday, 26.1 million people in the U.S. have gotten booster shots with a seven-day rolling average of 760,000 (above)
In August, boosters were approved for immunocompromised Americans who had received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine after data showed they were less likely to develop high antibody levels after two doses.
Shortly after, the White House announced booster shots would become available for all Americans starting on September 20 due to data suggesting waning efficacy of the initial shots.
At the time, Pfizer said its early data suggested people who received booster doses between six and 12 months after their final dose had high levels of protection.
But many scientists, including senior officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, disagreed and argued that the vaccines are still highly effective at preventing severe illness and death.
However, over the last few weeks, cases have been rising in some states, including in the Northeast and in the West.
Among those states is Colorado, which is currently recording an average of almost 3,000 caser per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
These are the highest numbers seen since late December 2020.
Polis’s order comes as Colorado is recording an average of almost 3,000 caser per day, the highest level seen in more than a year (above)
California public health officials are urging their state to do the same and are urging local leaders to let people ‘self-determine their risk of exposure’ as cases also rise in the state
What’s more, just five percent of the state’s intensive care beds are unoccupied.
‘Because disease spread is so significant across Colorado, all Coloradans who are 18 years of age and older are at high risk and qualify for a booster shot,’ Polis said in his executive order.
‘We want to ensure that Coloradans have every tool they need to protect themselves from this deadly virus and to help reduce the stress on our hospitals and health care workers.’
Meanwhile, California is hoping to soon follow with health authorities attempting to raise the number of people with boosters shots in case of another wave.
‘Allow patients to self-determine their risk of exposure,’ Dr Tomás Aragón, director for the California Department of Public Health, wrote in a letter to local jurisdictions.
‘Do not turn a patient away who is requesting a booster.’
The Golden State has also been seeing an increase of cases with an average of 6,200 per day, a 106 percent jump from two weeks ago, CDC data show.
Health officials believe that boosters will prevent vaccinated people from getting cases and contributing to the surging caseloads.
‘If you think you will benefit from getting a booster shot, I encourage you to go out and get it,’ Dr Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, said.
‘It’s not too late to get it this week. Get that added protection for the Thanksgiving gatherings that you may attend. Certainly, going into the other winter holidays, it is important.’
However, some counties have already this step.
Earlier this week, Santa Clara County health officials announced all residents are eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot.