U.S. CDC says all adults should get COVID-19 vaccine boosters as Omicron fears grow

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday that everyone 18 years of age and older should get a COVID-19 booster shot as it tackles a new and highly contagious strain of the coronavirus. which is spreading rapidly around the world. ,

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The update comes after President Joe Biden on Monday called for widespread vaccination to prevent the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which was first detected in southern Africa.

US health regulators last week expanded eligibility for booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines to all adults age 18 and older for six months after the initial dose of Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine, or two months after the Johnson & Johnson shot .

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However, the CDC declined to say that all adults ages 18 to 49 should get additional shots.

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CDC Director Rochelle Valensky said in a statement Monday that the agency is taking a more cautious approach as the emergence of Omicron has emphasized the importance of vaccinations and boosters.

Amid the new thrust, Pfizer and partner BioNTech are expected to ask the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the coming days to authorize their booster shots for people between the ages of 16 and 17, The Washington Post reported Monday. citing sources.

separately, The Wall Street Journal reported On Monday the FDA may approve booster doses for 16 and 17-year-olds as soon as next week.

Pfizer, BioNTech and the FDA did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Omicron, which the World Health Organization has said is at very high risk for increasing infection, has now been confirmed in several countries, including Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa and Canada.

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The CDC said scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently investigating the effectiveness of a vaccine related to this variant.

The agency also said that the 47 million adults who have not yet been vaccinated are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Shubham Kalia; Editing by Amy Karen Daniels and Rashmi Aich)

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