Western States review group aligns with FDA, approves boosters for all adults

(The Center Square) – The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup officially recommended expanding Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna booster eligibility to all adults 18 and older, allowing adults living in several West Coast states to get a booster shot ahead of the winter months.

The workgroup, which independently reviews recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration related to COVID-19, issued its recommendation on Saturday to governors in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The group concurred with guidance from both the FDA and Centers for Disease Control that says all adults 18 and older who received a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago can receive a booster shot. Previously, the CDC and FDA recommended that only individuals 65 and older, adults at higher risk for COVID-19 and those at occupational risk of contracting the disease receive a booster.

“COVID-19 boosters provide additional protection for Nevadans ahead of the holiday season,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement. “Boosters – along with ensuring we have first, second and pediatric doses available – will help prevent cases, hospitalizations and deaths. I am deeply appreciative of the Western States workgroup for their continued work. I encourage all Nevadans to get their COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.”

The workgroup also “strongly supported” vaccination against COVID-19 for all children five and older as unvaccinated people remain at higher risk for illness.

In a statement, Gov. Gavin Newsom said it is “critical” for adults to get their booster to strengthen immunity going into the winter months. For weeks, the governor has warned of the potential for a winter surge in California, urging eligible people to get a booster as soon as possible.

“It’s simple, all adults who are vaccinated need to go out and get their booster, period,” Newsom said.

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