By Associated Press - Friday, November 19, 2021

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Maryland became the latest state on Friday to expand eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots to all adults before the federal government has authorized them.

People 18 and older who completed a primary series of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago are eligible for a booster. Individuals who received a primary series of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago continue to be eligible for a booster dose.

“As the holiday season approaches, with more travel and more gatherings, we are encouraging all Marylanders to get a booster shot and maintain their immunity,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a news release. “The state has a robust network of vaccination providers, and we continue to have both the supply and the capacity to provide a booster shot to anyone who needs one.”

Maryland reports that the state has administered nearly 803,000 booster shots. Nearly half of the state’s eligible seniors have received a booster shot.

Several other states also have expanded eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots to all adults before the federal government. Utah and Massachusetts opened eligibility on Thursday. California, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia and Colorado expanded the shots to all adults in the last week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided Friday to open up booster shoots to all adults in the U.S. But there’s one more step: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must agree to expand Pfizer and Moderna boosters to even healthy young adults. Its scientific advisers were set to debate later Friday.

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