RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – All adults could be approved for COVID-19 booster shot by the weekend. The FDA and a CDC advisory committee both gave the go-ahead on Friday.
It will be up to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky to give the final sign-off. That could possibly come Friday night.
In the meantime, everyone over 18, regardless of the vaccine they got, can start preparing for their booster. For people who got the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, they qualify six months after their second dose.
For Johnson and Johnson recipients, a booster is available two months after their shot. Mixing and matching is allowed for boosters.
While the CDC advisory committee allowed all people over 18 to get a shot, it made a distinction between those who should definitely get boosted and those who may but can wait.
Anyone who got the Johnson and Johnson vaccines is 18 and older living in a long-term care facility or is over 50 should get boosted right away.
These populations are either at higher risk for infection, severe illness or in the case of Johnson and Johnson, have seen protection starts to wane already.
People with no risk factors or underlying conditions between 18 and 49 years old may get boosted but it’s not as urgent. They are still largely protected but would benefit from extended protection offered by the vaccines.
In their meeting Friday, the CDC advisory committee said vaccinating the unvaccinated was still their biggest priority.
“We are seeing now an increasing disparate world. So on one hand, we have individuals and families that not only will be getting boosters, but are now immunizing their youngest children. On the other hand, we have substantial number of people in the United States who are vaccine resistant, 20 plus percent, who are unvaccinated,” said Dr. David Weber at the UNC School of Medicine.
The CDC found the boosters were safe and effective. They likely to feel weaker side effects for your booster than your second dose. An overwhelming 95 percent of side effects were mild. Just five percent were serious but treatable.