FDA permits COVID-19 booster shots for all U.S. adults

Face mask advisory also issued for Michigan

Photo of Angela Mulka
In this file photo, a man gets his booster vaccination at the Corona Vaccination Center at the Asklepios Klinikum Harburg, Germany, Friday, Nov.19, 2021.

In this file photo, a man gets his booster vaccination at the Corona Vaccination Center at the Asklepios Klinikum Harburg, Germany, Friday, Nov.19, 2021.

Christian Charisius/AP

All fully vaccinated American adults are OK to receive a COVID-19 booster shot, the Food and Drug Administration authorized on Friday.

Before Friday's authorization, the third dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines had been permitted for people 65 and older and to anyone 18 years and older who is at elevated risk of contracting COVID-19.

Now, the FDA has determined that the currently available data supports expanding the eligibility of a single booster dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to all individuals 18 years of age and older at least six months after completion of the primary vaccination series of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or at least two months after completion of primary vaccination with the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, per a press release issued Friday by the FDA. 

"Streamlining the eligibility criteria and making booster doses available to all individuals 18 years of age and older will also help to eliminate confusion about who may receive a booster dose and ensure booster doses are available to all who may need one," said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in the release.

Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may prefer the vaccine type they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC's recommendations allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is encouraging all eligible Michiganders to schedule their booster shot.

"As we continue facing COVID, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get vaccinated, and if you're eligible, get your booster shot," Whitmer said in a press release issued by her office Wednesday. 

Additionally, on Friday morning, Michigan's Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II received a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the recommendation of his physician at a CVS Health Pharmacy in Detroit.

Michigan's Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II received a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the recommendation of his physician at a CVS Health Pharmacy in Detroit on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. 

Michigan's Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II received a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the recommendation of his physician at a CVS Health Pharmacy in Detroit on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. 

Photo provided/Michigan.gov

"After losing 27 people in my life to this deadly virus, I am making the choice to do what I can to protect myself, family and everyone around me," said Gilchrist in a press release issued by his office on Friday. "The safe and effective vaccines have been shown to be incredibly effective in preventing people from getting the virus, being hospitalized or dying. That is why I am asking every Michigander to get their primary doses — for them and their kids 5 and older — or make an appointment to get a booster if you are already vaccinated."

Michigan ranks seventh nationwide in the number of booster doses administered, with more than 1.1 million Michiganders getting their booster shot to date, per a press release from Gilchrist's office.

Michiganders should bring their COVID-19 vaccine card or immunization record with them when getting their booster dose. Immunization records are available online at the Michigan Immunization Portal for many residents and can be downloaded and printed. To obtain their record, Michiganders must create a login account at Michigan.gov/MiImmsportal and upload a valid government-issued photo ID such as a driver's license, state ID or passport.

Michiganders can also receive their flu shot at the same time as a booster dose.

Additionally, Michigan recently crossed an important goal set forth by Whitmer to have 70% of Michiganders 16 and up vaccinated against COVID-19. While there is still plenty of progress to be made, this level of coverage will help protect even more people and keep them out of the hospital, according to a press release issued by Whitmer's office.

Public health advisory for Michigan amid COVID-19 surge: Wear a mask

Amid Michigan ranking as a top COVID-19 hotspot nationwide, state health leaders for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a public health advisory Friday, recommending everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status, when at indoor gatherings this holiday season.

"The increases in case counts, percent positivity and hospitalizations have us very concerned," said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director, in a press release issued Friday. "We are issuing the face mask advisory and are looking to Michiganders to do their part to help protect their friends, their families and their communities by wearing a mask in indoor settings and getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu as soon as possible if they have not already done so."

In addition to the MDHHS advisory, the CDC also issued recommendations for safe gatherings including getting vaccinated, wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands. Mask wearing is considered an effective mitigation strategy and is recommended for all public indoor settings in areas of high transmission and indoors for those who are not vaccinated. Practice social distancing when possible, especially in places where the vaccination status of those around you is unknown, per the release.