Boosters could be approved for 18+ by the end of the week

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — COVID-19 boosters for all adults could be approved within days.

The Food and Drug Administration convenes a panel Thursday and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will do the same Friday This comes days after vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna applied for emergency use authorization to make millions of additional Americans eligible for booster shots.

Up to this point, boosters were available to those over 65 and people at higher risk for the disease due to their jobs. The latest push to make boosters available comes as COVID infection numbers are trending in the wrong direction. The 7-day average of new cases is up over 1,500, hospitalizations are above 550, and there are on average, 10 deaths per day. These numbers are close to the levels we saw in September, the last time there was a spike in COVID cases.

Millions of people will be traveling for the holidays in the weeks ahead, and health officials say vaccines are effective but wane over time.

“When we compare rates of COVID-19 disease, between those who are vaccinated with two doses, and those who have received a booster dose, the rate of disease is markedly lower,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. “For those who received their booster shot, demonstrating our boosters are working.”

Maine, Vermont, and Rhode Island are among a handful of states that have already opened up eligibility to all adults.

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