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CDC Panel Backs Boosters, Especially for Ages 50 and Up

After one more step, shots could be made available to all adults this weekend
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2021 7:53 AM CST
Updated Nov 19, 2021 2:55 PM CST
FDA Authorizes COVID Boosters for All Adults
A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Reading, Pa.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Newser) Update: This file has been updated to reflect the recommendation of CDC advisers.
The US government on Friday moved to open up COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, expanding efforts to get ahead of rising coronavirus cases that experts fear could snowball into a winter surge as millions of Americans travel for the holidays. On Friday morning, the FDA moved to simplify what has been a confusing list of who’s eligible for a booster: The agency declared that anyone 18 or older can choose either a Pfizer or Moderna booster six months after their last dose, per the AP.

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But there's one more step before that policy is final: The CDC must agree. Its scientific advisers supported the move Friday afternoon after discussing the safety and usefulness of Pfizer and Moderna boosters in even healthy young adults. The CDC's advisers said anyone 18 and older can choose a booster of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine—and they went an extra step and stressed that people 50 and older should get one. Final CDC approval was expected later Friday, and shots could be available as early as this weekend. Anyone who got the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine already can get a booster after two months. (Read more COVID booster shots stories.)

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