BOSTON (CBS) – President Biden said Friday that anyone who’s eligible to get a COVID booster shot should get one now. The question is – who is actually eligible?
There is no formal official list of who can and who can’t get a booster, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance early Friday on eligibility.
PFIZER ONLY – FOR NOW
First of all, you have to had been vaccinated with the Pfizer shot. And it had to be at least six months ago.
If you meet those first two requirements, then you can check this CDC list of eligibility:
• People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
• People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
• People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
• People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
The president tried to clarify this a bit more Friday morning, saying adults 18 and over with certain underlying health conditions like diabetes and obesity are eligible.
He also said those who “are at increased risk of COVID-19 because of where they work or where they live, like health care workers, teachers, grocery store workers,” also qualify.
“My message today is this: If you’ve got the Pfizer vaccine, you got the Pfizer vaccine in January, February, March of this year, and you’re over 65 years of age, go get the booster,” Biden said. “Or, if you have a medical condition like diabetes, or you’re a frontline worker like a health care worker or a teacher, you can get a free booster now.”
It’s also believed that police officers, firefighters and EMS are among those essential workers who qualify.
Again, they are all eligible if they got the Pfizer vaccine and they got it at least six months ago.
“Booster shots will be available in 80,000 locations including over 40,000 pharmacies nationwide,” the president said Friday, adding that states, doctors’ offices and community health centers have also been preparing “to get booster shots in arms for awhile.”
CVS and Walgreens both said Friday they will have booster shots available for those eligible.
MODERNA AND JOHNSON & JOHNSON
So what about the millions of Americans who got the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines?
“My message for you is this: You still have a high degree of protection. Our doctors and scientists are working day and night to analyze the data from those two organizations on whether and when you need a booster shot. We’ll provide updates for you as the process moves ahead,” Biden said.
“We will address, with the same sense of urgency, recommendations for the Moderna and J&J vaccines as soon as those data are available,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.