Biden administration reportedly eyeing booster expansion, following in several states' footsteps
The Biden administration is reportedly planning to begin expanding access to COVID-19 boosters to all adults as early as this week, though several states and cities have already beat them to it, reports Axios and The Wall Street Journal.
The decisions on both the federal and state level arrive ahead of the holidays, when families typically gather indoors and in large groups. Boosters have thus far been federally recommended only for the elderly and the high-risk.
With the White House dragging its feet, several states — like California, Colorado, Arkansas, and New Mexico — have already gone ahead and made boosters available to all adults at least six months out from their second dose, per the Journal. Officials in both New York City and West Virginia have also done the same, but have "stopped short of a formal policy change," notes The New York Times.
"We want you to get the booster because the data indicates that the effectiveness of the vaccine deteriorates over time," said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R).
"Boosters can provide one more layer of reassurance, allowing us to breathe a bit easier, either for ourselves or our loved ones," explained New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi when announcing the Monday decision.
But despite the push, some experts don't believe broad boosting will prevent a winter surge. Said FDA vaccine-advisory panel member Paul Offit to the Journal: "If we really want to get on top of this pandemic, it's not a matter of boosting the vaccinated, it's a matter of vaccinating the unvaccinated."