Pfizer booster shots could be available to all adults by the weekend

BOSTON — Pfizer booster shots are expected to be approved for all adults by the FDA as soon as Friday.

It comes as breakthrough cases are spiking in Massachusetts. There were 5,300 new breakthrough cases reported last week. That’s up from 4,600 the week before, and nearly 3,200 three weeks ago. Health officials say breakthrough cases make up about 35 to 40% of the state’s overall cases in recent months. Despite that, they say unvaccinated people are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms.

On Friday, an advisory panel will consider Pfizer’s application to allow its boosters for anyone 18 and older. The CDC could recommend it soon after the meeting. Currently, boosters are recommended for people who got their Pfizer or Moderna shot six months ago and are at high risk or are 65 and older. For eligible people who got Johnson and Johnson, they can get a booster two months after the shot.

So far more than 30 million Americans have received their booster shot, according to the CDC. On Tuesday, Rhode Island approved the booster shot for all adults and in the last week, California, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia, Colorado, and New York City expanded it to everyone above 18—a move that the clinical director of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s applauds.

“I strongly support booster shots for adults and because we know the best way of preventing this infection is vaccination,” said Dr. Paul Sax. “It doesn’t mean we’re locked in to getting boosters for the rest of our lives, we really don’t know how long the protection would last with the third dose but let’s go ahead and do that for as many people as possible.”

The CDC says it is safe to mix and match vaccines. But for those who initially got Pfizer, for example, and want to get the Pfizer booster, make sure to check before scheduling your appointment.

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