COVID-19 vaccine booster shots approved for those age 18 and older

Registered nurse Alison Simo administers a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Riley Phillips during a mass vaccination clinic in the pavilion at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, April 10, 2021. The clinic was operated by the Bartholomew County Health Department and staffed by members of the health department and volunteers from other medical organizations in the county. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

The U.S. government has moved to open up COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, expanding efforts to get ahead of rising coronavirus cases that experts fear could snowball into a winter surge as millions of Americans travel for the holidays.

On Friday, a panel of scientific advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously supported expanding access to booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines to anyone age 18 and up who have received their second dose at least six months ago.

The move came just hours after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the boosters and the CDC panel discussed the safety and usefulness of Pfizer and Moderna boosters in even healthy young adults, The Associated Press reported.

The CDC’s advisers said anyone 18 and older can choose a booster of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine but went an extra step and stressed that people 50 and older should get one, according to wire reports.

The Indiana Department of Health announced Friday that any Hoosier aged 18 or older can now receive a booster dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines so long as they received their second dose at least six months ago.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday approved the administration of a booster dose of both vaccines for people aged 18 and older following the FDA’s decision to expand its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for boosters. Previously, the FDA had approved a third dose for immunocompromised individuals and had allowed boosters for individuals who met certain criteria.

Individuals may still choose which COVID-19 vaccine to receive as a booster shot. Some people may prefer the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. Individuals who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster two months or more after their initial dose.

Hoosiers aged 18 and older who want to obtain a booster dose should go to or call 211 for assistance finding a location.

For the complete story, see Sunday’s Republic.