Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image
All fully vaccinated adults in California seeking a COVID-19 booster shot should be eligible to receive one, officials at the California Department of Public Health say.
In a letter dated Thursday, officials instructed health care providers not to refuse booster shots to adult patients. The announcement made millions of state residents eligible for booster shots.
“Do not turn down a patient who asks for a booster,” Tomás J. Aragón, director of the California Department of Health, said in the letter. “Let patients determine their exposure risk for themselves.”
People in California who are 18 years of age or older are eligible for a COVID booster shot as long as their second dose of the dual Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is at least six months or two months have passed since their Johnson & Johnson shot .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every adult age 65 or older who has received one of the three vaccines should receive a booster shot. It only recommends boosters for people 18 and older if they live or work in a long-term or high-risk environment or have an underlying health condition.
“These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protecting as many people as possible from COVID-19,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky said in a statement about booster shot eligibility.
According to the agency, less than 40% of fully vaccinated adults age 65 and older in California have received a booster shot. And of all fully vaccinated adults ages 18 and older in the state, nearly 14% have received a booster shot.
“If you think you’ll benefit from getting a booster shot, I encourage you to go out there and get it,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency at a news conference Wednesday.
Colorado has also expanded eligibility. Government Jared Polis signed an executive order Thursday allowing all adults in the state to receive a COVID-19 booster shot.
“The health and safety of Coloradans has been my top priority during this global pandemic. We want to ensure that Coloradans has all the resources to protect itself from this deadly virus and to help reduce the stress for our hospitals and healthcare workers,” it reports. Police in a statement.
dr. Eric France, CDPHE Chief Medical Officer, urges Coloradans, ages 18+, to receive a booster dose of COVID vaccine six months after receiving Pfizer or Moderna and two months after receiving J&J vaccine. 1 in 48 Coloradans is estimated to be contagious. pic.twitter.com/K1RJHhTrnM
— Colorado Department of Health and Environment (@CDPHE) November 11, 2021
Earlier this week, Colorado officials issued a public health order preventing a vaccine provider from refusing a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to anyone who meets the qualifications.