CDC committee may OK lifting restrictions on COVID boosters: Updates

November 19, 2021
Experts to discuss making COVID boosters available to all adults
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An expert advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet Friday to discuss lifting restrictions on COVID-19 booster shots and making them available to any adult who wants them.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will hear data about the safety of booster shots and whether those not at high risk for infection need one.

No new safety concerns have emerged from trials of booster shots nor from the 31 million Americans who have already received them. But there are concerns that for men under 30, who are at relatively high risk for a condition called myocarditis, the benefits of a third shot might not outweigh the chance of developing this heart muscle swelling.

Anyone who received a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is already eligible for a booster two months after their initial dose, as are those who received the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech shots more than 6 months ago and are 65 or older, have medical conditions putting them at high risk for severe COVID-19 or at high risk for exposure to the virus through their work.

The committee, whose decision will have to be supported by CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, is expected to recommend lifting most of those restrictions and allowing anyone who was vaccinated six or more months ago to receive a booster at no cost.

In response to rising cases across the United States, particularly in the Midwest, some states have already made all adults eligible for boosters

Also in the news:

►Legal arguments over Tennessee’s newest law on COVID-19 restrictions are set to continue Friday. Gov. Bill Lee last week signed a comprehensive legislative package aimed to curtailing the power local agencies have over COVID restrictions.

►The Washington state House announced Thursday that only vaccinated lawmakers will be allowed on the chamber floor for its next legislative session; unvaccinated officials will be permitted to work in their on-campus offices only if they’re tested for COVID-19 three times a week. 

📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 47 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 768,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 256 million cases and 5.1 million deaths. More than 195 million Americans – 58.9% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘What we’re reading: A global study has found mask-wearing cuts COVID-19 incidence by 53%. Here’s what else researchers told a British medical journal. 

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox, and join our Facebook group.

Mexico sends some teens to US to get coronavirus vaccine 

Scores of Mexican adolescents were bused to California on Thursday to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as efforts get underway across Mexico to get shots in the arms of teens.

Mexico has resisted vaccinating minors ages 12 to 17, in part because the government focused on older adults believed to be more vulnerable. Mexico also has not had enough vaccine supply for most of its minors, who account for one-third of its population. The country this month is preparing to start vaccinating only teens ages 15-17.

So a group in San Diego along with San Diego County stepped in to help their neighbor.

The pilot program in San Diego aims to get shots in the arms of 450 youths ages 12 to 17 before it ends in late December. The adolescents from Tijuana were selected by Mexican social service organizations, including those who work with the children of parents deported from the United States.

About 150 kids from Tijuana were bused to the Mexican consulate in San Diego on Thursday, where county nurses administered the Pfizer vaccine.

— The Associated Press

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