New York City is making Covid-19 booster shots available to all adults, city officials announced Monday, the latest region to expand eligibility beyond federal guidelines, which only recommend the shot for older and at-risk adults.
Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said he issued a Commissioner’s Advisory to healthcare providers in the state to ensure there are no barriers preventing adult patients from requesting a booster shot.
Though hospitalizations from Covid-19 in New York City “remain low right now,” Chokshi said there has been an “uptick in cases in recent days,” adding that elevated protection from booster doses could benefit many as winter draws in.
Chokshi said healthcare providers should allow adult patients to determine their own risk of exposure and that “providers should not turn a patient away if they request a booster,” provided they are over the age of 18 and at least six months have passed since receiving their last Moderna or Pfizer dose.
Recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine must wait at least two months since their last dose, Chokshi said.
New York City joins three states—California, Colorado and New Mexico—in expanding eligibility to booster shots to all adults. The Chicago Department of Public Health also said it won’t turn away anyone over the age of 18 seeking a booster shot and said it had “plenty” of vaccines to go around. The expansion goes against guidance from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommend the shot in adults at higher risk from Covid-19 and those over the age of 65. Pfizer is pushing for the FDA to expand eligibility for its booster shots to all adults nationwide ahead of winter and holiday season, which officials worry may trigger another wave of infections.
What To Watch For
It’s possible three vaccine doses may become the standard course for immunization. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical advisor, said he would “not at all be surprised that the adequate full regimen for vaccination will likely be three doses,” which could possibly give a more durable immune response. Some vaccination regimens do require third shots to be effective, hepatitis B, for example.
Colorado Governor Signs Executive Order Expanding Covid Booster Shot Eligibility To All Adults (Forbes)
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