Updated Nov 19, 2021 - Health

CDC recommends Pfizer, Moderna COVID boosters for all adults

: Irene Michel, right, gives Santana Ruiz, left, a Covid-19 vacination.
Irene Michel, right, gives Santana Ruiz a COVID-19 vaccination in El Monte, California, on Nov. 17. Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky on Friday approved a CDC advisory panel's unanimous vote to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 booster shots for anyone 18 and older.

Why it matters: The move will drastically increase the number of people eligible to receive a booster, and fulfill President Biden's pledge to make boosters available to most adults in the U.S.

  • Walensky previously said the agency would "quickly review the safety and effectiveness data and make recommendations as soon as we hear from FDA."
  • The Food and Drug Administration earlier Friday endorsed booster shots for all adults.
  • The CDC panel also recommended that individuals 50 and older “should” receive the COVID-19 booster.

The big picture: More than 32 million adults in the U.S. have received a booster shot, according to the CDC.

  • Currently, the only Americans who are technically eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna boosters are people 65 and older or adults at high risk of severe infection. Several states, however, have expanded eligibility to anyone 18 and older.
  • Once endorsed by the CDC, Pfizer and Moderna vaccine recipients who are 18 years and older can receive a booster at least six months after their second dose.
  • Adults who have received the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine are already allowed to get a booster shot two months after their initial shot. The CDC has also authorized people to mix-and-match doses.

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