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White House Encourages All Those Eligible to Get COVID Boosters


FILE - A woman receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose at Skippack Pharmacy in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, August 14, 2021.

The White House on Friday urged all those eligible in the United States to get COVID-19 booster shots to do so, one day after U.S. health and drug regulatory agencies endorsed an expanded list of recommended shots.

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the list of vaccines eligible for a booster shot to include the Moderna and singe-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Previously, only people who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been recommended for booster shots.

During a virtual briefing by the White House COVID-19 Response Team, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky clarified exactly who is eligible for a booster shot.

FILE - Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks on Capitol Hill, March 18, 2021.
FILE - Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks on Capitol Hill, March 18, 2021.

Those people who initially received Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations are eligible for a booster if they are 65 and older six months after their last vaccination, adult residents of long-term care facilities, people with underlying medical conditions, and people who live or work in high-risk settings.

Anyone who received a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, two or more months ago, are eligible for a booster shot.

Walensky said the FDA and CDC recommendations also allow people to choose any authorized COVID-19 vaccine for a booster, regardless of their original shot.

Walensky was asked if this expanded list of booster shots might require the CDC to update the definition of "fully vaccinated." She said the CDC has not yet changed that definition but said it may need to in the future.

Currently people in the United States are considered fully vaccinated if they have had two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson.

Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press, and Reuters.

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