California, Colorado and New Mexico have expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 booster shot.
In a letter to vaccine providers, California's health department said adults should not be turned away if they received the Pfizer or Moderna shots six months earlier or it has been at least two months since their Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control currently says eligibility is limited to:
- 65 years or older
- Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
California says providers should allow "patients to self-determine their risk of exposure."
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis was the first to expand eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order within a day of Polis, expanding eligibility.
The two states are facing surges in COVID-19.
"We want to ensure that Coloradans have every tool they need to protect themselves from this deadly virus and to help reduce the stress on our hospitals and health care workers," Polis said.
Lujan Grisham noted how the pandemic has presented new challenges.
“As we have throughout this unpredictable and unprecedented global pandemic, we always stand ready to quickly implement new tools and policies in our fight against this terrible disease,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
President Joe Biden had initially said he wanted to expand access to boosters in September. However, a vaccine advisory panel with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said, at the time, the science didn't support the need to expand boosters to all adults.
Pfizer has since presented more data to the FDA and has asked that booster shot eligibility be expanded to all adults.