Nov 13, 2021 - Health

All adults in California, Colorado, New Mexico can get COVID boosters

A pharmacist fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccination at a vaccination booster shot clinic on October 01, 2021 in San Rafael, California.
A pharmacist fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccination at a booster shot clinic in San Rafael, Calif. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California, Colorado and New Mexico this week have expanded COVID-19 booster access to all adults.

Why it matters: Federal officials have recommended largely limiting the doses to people who are 65 and older, have underlying health conditions or work in high-risk environments.

  • All adults who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get a booster two months after their first shot.

Driving the news: California, Colorado and New Mexico have all seen high rates of COVID transmission in recent weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • New Mexico and Colorado's governors signed executive orders expanding eligibility for boosters this week. Rising case numbers have overwhelmed their hospitals, according to AP.
  • In California, the country's most populous state, state public health officer Tomás Aragón has instructed health officials not to turn away anyone who requests a booster as long as they are 18 or older and have waited the appropriate time between the initial shots and the booster.
    • Providers should prioritize those in skilled nursing or assisted living facilities but "should not miss any opportunity" to offer boosters to others, Aragón said.

What they're saying: "We wouldn't even be here talking about this if everyone was vaccinated," Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said at a news conference. "If you are not vaccinated, you're going to get COVID. Maybe this year, maybe next year."

  • David Scrase, New Mexico's department of health acting secretary, called COVID "incredibly opportunistic," per AP. It's "our job to ensure that the virus has fewer and fewer opportunities to spread.”
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