All adults in Colorado eligible for booster shots, Gov. Jared Polis declares
Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order Thursday declaring all of Colorado to be at high risk from COVID-19, thereby making all adults eligible to receive vaccine booster shots.
This comes ahead of approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Pfizer and Moderna boosters for all fully vaccinated adults, following a six-month wait time. State public health officials have argued they’re in line with the agency’s guidance, which allows third shots for people living or working in high-risk settings.
The order is meant to help protect public health, reduce virus transmission, preserve hospital capacity and alleviate the stress on health care workers from the COVID-19 pandemic in Colorado, the governor’s office said in a news release.
“The health and safety of Coloradans has been my top priority throughout this global pandemic,” Polis said in a statement. “…Every Coloradan is now eligible to get the booster so they can protect themselves and their families. I was relieved to get the booster two weeks ago, and strongly encourage you to get it too.”
According to Polis’s executive order, every Coloradan who is older than 18 and six months past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months past their Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is now eligible for a COVID-19 booster.
Colorado has experienced rising numbers of new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in recent weeks. The state’s seven-day average for positive COVID-19 tests is at 9.93%, the highest mark of 2021. As of Wednesday, 95% of Colorado’s ICU beds are in use, more than at any other point during the pandemic.
“Because disease spread is so significant across Colorado, all Coloradans (ages 18+) qualify for a booster,” Jessica Bralish, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a statement Tuesday. “With an estimated 1 in 48 Coloradans infected, it is likely that all Coloradans can be exposed to COVID-19 where they live or work.”
Of the 1,431 people in a Colorado hospital with a confirmed case of COVID-19, 80% are unvaccinated. The governor is urging Coloradans to get any vaccine immediately.
On Tuesday, Pfizer asked U.S. regulators to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine to anyone 18 or older. A recent study from Pfizer concluded a booster could restore protection against symptomatic infection to about 95%.
Boosters currently are authorized for any adults who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but there are more restrictive guidelines surrounding boosters for people who initially received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
The CDC says people who received Pfizer or Moderna shots are eligible for boosters if they’re 65 or older, have a qualifying chronic health condition, or live or work in high-risk settings.
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