COVID Booster Shots: Here's Who Is Eligible After CDC Endorsement

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster shots of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for all U.S. adults, but are you able to get one?

Under the new rules, anyone age 18 and older can choose either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine booster shot six months after their last dose. For those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the wait already was just two months.

Federal health officials noted that people can continue to "mix-and-match" boosters from any company.

Boosters were previously recommended for people who initially received their second Pfizer or Moderna shots at least six months ago if they’re 65 or older or are at high risk of COVID-19 because of health problems or their job or living conditions. Boosters have also been recommended for people who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky endorsed a recommendation from her agency's scientific advisers that — in addition to offering all adults a booster — had stressed that people 50 and older should be urged to get one.

As the FDA plans to meet soon to discuss the next eligible age group, children ages 5-11, for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, doctors at Advocate Children’s Hospital have been talking with families and parents, listening to their questions and concerns. NBC 5's Lauren Petty reports.

As for recipients of the single-shot J&J vaccine, a COVID-19 booster is recommended for everyone at least two months after their vaccination. That's because the J&J vaccine hasn't proved as protective as the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer options.

Nearly 31 million Americans have received a dose beyond their original vaccination, including those with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients and organ transplant recipients who need an extra dose to be fully vaccinated.

Some cities and states had already allowed all adults to get boosters of Pfizer's vaccine, but hasn't been official U.S. policy. In the last week, California, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia and Colorado expanded the shots to all adults. New York City made a similar move.

Cook County health officials said Monday that "no one seeking a booster will be turned away from a vaccination site" and Will County issued a similar statement Thursday saying, "we will not turn anyone (over the age of 18) that wants a booster dose away."

Last week, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Chicago residents over the age of 18 won't be turned away from getting COVID-19 vaccine booster shots as health officials report "plenty of availability."

"You're not gonna get turned away from getting a booster if you're over the age of 18," Arwady said in a Facebook Live event. "We have plenty of availability here."

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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