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Some states expand booster availability beyond federal recommendations -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO A view from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters, Atlanta, Georgia. September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Tami Chappell

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO, (Reuters) – California and Colorado officials have instructed healthcare providers this week to provide COVID-19 boosters to all adults. This is in direct contravention to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) more restrictive guidelines.

“I think that it’s kind of amazing,” stated Dr. Jesse Goodman from Georgetown University in Washington, who is an infectious diseases expert and was previously chief scientist at Food and Drug Administration.

Goodman stated that he thinks the two main factors driving the changes in policies are “the desire do everything possible to decrease infections” as well as the need to simplify national guidelines to deliver booster doses to states that have become too complicated.

California’s Health Department instructed health professionals to give people the opportunity to assess their risk. This was done in Nov. 9. It also instructed them to refuse adults who requested boosters.

Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis has issued an executive directive declaring Colorado at high-risk of SARS-CoV-2 infections. It makes every Coloradoan 18 years and older eligible to receive a booster shot.

The governor’s office of Colorado and California’s Health Department did not respond to requests for comments.

In August, the administration of President Joe Biden announced that it would begin to distribute booster doses to all adult patients in September. This was before FDA and CDC advisors had suggested a less restrictive authorization.

Final recommendations allowed boosters to be given for people in different groups. All fully immunized adult 65 years and over who have had any one of three vaccines, are eligible for them. Younger adults should not receive boosters if they have any underlying medical conditions or if their jobs or lifestyles put them at higher risk for COVID-19.

Pfizer BioNTech (NYSE:) filed on Tuesday for FDA approval of expanded use for its booster for all adults. The FDA has not yet weighed in.

Paul Offit (an infectious disease expert from the University of Pennsylvania) said that the FDA will not consider Pfizer’s request to expand the use of booster shots to all adult patients.

He stated, “It would have been great if it did,” because public would probably see the same hesitation that the advisory panel displayed during initial review of Pfizer’s request for authorisation of boosters to all adults.

Offit expressed doubt that boosters have any benefit in people between 18 and 29, particularly young men. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart. He said, “It is rare but it’s true.”

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