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FDA Authorizes Moderna, Pfizer COVID Booster Shots For All Adults

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) -- The FDA on Friday authorized Moderna and Pfizer's COVID vaccine booster shots for all adults 18 and older.

A few hours later, CDC vaccine advisers voted unanimously to recommend allowing the booster shots for all, and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky endorsed the advisory committee's decision to formally expand eligibility.

Massachusetts and some other states have already declared that adult residents can get a booster shot if it's been at least six months since their last Moderna or Pfizer dose, or two months since their Johnson & Johnson vaccine shot.

"This emergency use authorization comes at a critical time as we enter the winter months and face increasing COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations across the country," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement. "We thank the FDA for their review, and are confident in the robust clinical evidence that a 50 µg booster dose of mRNA-1273 induces a strong immune response against COVID-19."

Dr. Paul Sax, director of the infectious diseases clinic at Brigham & Women's Hospital, said he is "strongly encouraging" people who are eligible for a booster to get one.

"It's now clear that getting a third dose – I like to say third dose rather than booster – is really a good way of making the vaccines just as effective as they were the first month or so after you get them," Sax said.

Massachusetts residents can use vaxfinder.mass.gov to find a full list of locations to receive a booster.

For more information on the booster program, visit the state's website.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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