New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed an executive order Friday making all residents 18 and over eligible for COVID-19 booster shots, as rising case numbers overwhelm some hospitals in the state. Neighboring Colorado opened booster eligibility to all adults on Thursday and California, which is now in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "high" tier of COVID-19 transmission, has also told local health officials they should consider all adults eligible, The Associated Press reports.
The CDC has approved COVID-19 booster shots for everyone who has gotten the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine and certain groups inoculated with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines six months after their second dose. Federal health officials are divided on whether to approve booster shots for all adults.
"COVID-19 is incredibly opportunistic and it's our job to ensure that the virus has fewer and fewer opportunities to spread," said Dr. David Scrase, New Mexico's acting health secretary. "If it's time for you to get a booster, please do so right away." California's public health officer, Tomás Aragón, told local health officials they should "not turn a patient away who is requesting a booster" and is otherwise eligible, and they should "allow patients to self-determine their risk of exposure."
Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a professor of epidemiology at University of California, San Francisco, is on team booster. The highly contagious Delta variant is "really good at finding people, including people who got vaccinated at the beginning of the year and now that vaccination is wearing off a little bit," she told AP. "Delta is a powerful force and everybody needs that third dose."