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CDC director signs off on expanding eligibility of COVID-19 boosters to all adults

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Posted at 3:27 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 19:27:38-05

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, signed off on a recommendation to expand eligibility for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots.

Walensky's decision came after the vote of approval from a key CDC advisory panel.

"Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays. Based on the compelling evidence, all adults over 18 should now have equitable access to a COVID-19 booster dose," Walensky said.

Earlier in the day, the FDA approved Moderna's and Pfizer's boosters for all U.S. adults who completed their first series of vaccines six months prior.

Previously, the FDA and the CDC approved booster shots of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for people aged 65 and up, people who have underlying health conditions that make them susceptible to the virus and those who are at an increased risk of contracting the virus because of their job or living situation. At the same time, regulators approved the mixing and matching of vaccine brands when it comes to booster shots.

The CDC reports that more than 32 million Americans have already gotten a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. However, the agency says 47 million Americans are still not vaccinated.