The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said all adults 18 and older can get a COVID-19 booster shot from Pfizer or Moderna.
“Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “Based on the compelling evidence, all adults over 18 should now have equitable access to a COVID-19 booster dose.”
A CDC and Prevention panel on Friday afternoon endorsed making Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 boosters available to all adults. With the CDC’s full approval, tens of millions more Americans six months past their last Pfizer or Moderna shot can now get an extra dose of protection before the new year.
Earlier Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended its emergency use authorizations to allow all adults to get a single booster dose from Pfizer or Moderna at least six months after being fully vaccinated.
Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots were authorized previously but only for certain eligible groups: people over age 65, adults with health conditions that put them at risk for severe COVID-19 or those in jobs that have high exposure to coronavirus cases.
Health officials say it’s fine to mix and match booster shots, meaning people can get a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot, even if they originally got a Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In early November, Pfizer’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine was also approved for children ages 5 to 11, meaning anyone 5 or older in the U.S. is currently eligible to get the vaccine.
COVID-19 cases and deaths have dropped significantly since a wave in September, but there are still over 88,000 reported cases per day across the country, and more than 1,000 people dying daily from the virus.