Arkansas on Monday joined Colorado, California and New Mexico in expanding access to Covid-19 boosters, ahead of federal regulators they are close to making a decision on expanding eligibility.
Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas said in a Press conference on Monday he had directed the state health department to issue new guidelines on boosters to allow all adults to get one, as long as they abide by the timing rules. The move made Arkansas the latest state to issue a decision on boosters before a federal ruling.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Health said had updated their recommendations and would be advising healthcare providers who can administer the boosters to an extended group of adults.
“What we are finding is that we want more people to get their booster shot and that this is somewhat confusing and limiting in terms of eligibility,” Hutchinson said, adding, “We are changing that.”
However, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office said Mr. Hutchinson had no plans to issue an executive order to expand booster eligibility.
According to Department of Health guidelines, Arkansas adults are now eligible for the booster vaccine if it has been at least six months since their second injection of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or at least two months since they received the vaccine. single dose of Johnson & Johnson. vaccine.
A growing body of early research worldwide has shown that vaccines still very protective against hospitalization and death, but that its effectiveness against infections decreases with time. Public health experts say this does not mean that vaccines are not working.
In mid-August, President Biden announced plans to make boosters available to all adultsBut the start of the campaign was delayed after regulators said they needed more time to review the data. Last week, Pfizer and BioNTech requested that The Food and Drug Administration extends your booster eligibility to all adults, an agency application is expected to be granted before the winter holiday season.
Prior to a formal recommendation from federal authorities, several other states have taken different approaches to expanding booster eligibility.
The governors of Colorado other New Mexico signed executive orders last week expanding eligibility to all adults. On CaliforniaDr. Tomás J. Aragón, the state’s director of public health, issued a letter last week saying that eligibility was open to anyone over the age of 18.
Authorities in New York and West Virginia on Monday encouraged all adults to receive the booster, but failed to reach a formal policy change. New York City Health Officials He told healthcare providers to administer booster shots to all adults who want them, a request the governor repeated. Kathy Hochul. In West Virginia Governor Jim Justice Such adults should “absolutely receive” reinforcement.