States Remain Confused as COVID-19 Boosters Roll Out

States are wrestling with how to dole out Covid-19 boosters after federal regulators set eligibility guidelines so broad that nearly all of the 100 million Americans who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine qualify for a third shot.

People age 65 and older, as well as people 18 to 64 with underlying health conditions or jobs that increase their risk of developing severe Covid, are eligible for a third dose, federal health officials said last week. The sheer breadth of qualifying medical conditions and occupations, plus the lack of any proof requirements, means just about anyone who got the Pfizer vaccine can now seek out a booster. The only hard-and-fast rule is that people must wait at least six months after their initial two shots to get a third.

In West Virginia, where just 40 percent of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19, Gov. Jim Justice — a Republican — is encouraging nearly any adult who has received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine to get in line for a third, citing the growing burden on the state’s hospitals. Vermont, which has one of the nation’s highest vaccination rates, is taking a phased approach, starting with people 80 and older last Friday.

Read the source article at Politics, Policy, Political News

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