Numerous recently published reports state that all adults in Nevada and across the country are now eligible for COVID-19 booster shots, with U.S. health officials urging people 50 and older to seek one.
The recommendation is aimed at warding off a winter surge of coronavirus cases that Dr. Anthony Fauci of the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta says is expected even before millions of Americans travel for the holidays.
Reports note, until now Americans faced a confusing list of who was eligible for a booster that varied by age, their health, which kind of vaccine they got first and occupational risk.
The new rules however, permit anyone 18 or older to be able to choose a Pfizer or Moderna booster six months after their last dose. For anyone who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the wait already was just two months. And people can mix and match boosters from any company.
FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks told the Associated Press,
“We heard loud and clear that people needed something simpler — and this, I think, is simple.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had to agree before the new policy became official Nov. 15.
CDC advisor Dr. Matthew Daley of Kaiser Permanente Colorado was reported as saying this is a strong recommendation to anyone over age 50. “I want to make sure we provide as much protection as we can.”
Delaying the booster shot is also not recommended by the CDC with the advice that older Americans and people with risks such as obesity, diabetes or other health problems should try to get one before the holidays.
In Nevada, along with about a dozen other states, health officials didn’t wait for federal officials to act before opening boosters to all adults.
In mid-November before the CDC had signed off, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services announced that boosters were available for all adults in the state.
Published reports stated the department decided to make the booster shots more broadly available before final federal approval, spokeswoman Shannon Litz explained there were three primary reasons. “The science is clear behind boosters, the federal government is heading in this direction, and Nevada has more than sufficient supply to provide boosters to all those who want it, regardless of age or occupation,” she said.
195 million considered ‘vaccinated’
The Associated Press has reported, “Since vaccinations began in the U.S. last December, about a year after the coronavirus emerged. More than 195 million Americans are now fully vaccinated, defined as having received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose J&J. More than 32 million already have received a booster, a large proportion — 17 million — people 65 or older. Experts say that’s reassuring as seniors are at particularly high risk from COVID-19 and were among the first in line for initial vaccinations.”
In the meantime, teen boosters aren’t yet under discussion, and kid-sized doses of Pfizer’s vaccine are just now rolling out to ages 5 to 11.”
Experts agreed the overall benefits of added protection from a third dose for any adult — six months after their last shot — outweighed risks of rare side effects from Moderna’s or Pfizer’s vaccine, such as a type of heart inflammation seen mostly in young men.”