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Moderna, Pfizer Booster Shots For All Adults Could Soon Be Approved

At the same time, many people have reported being able to get a booster shot even if they aren't technically eligible.

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at the mass vaccination site in the Jones Convocation Center on the campus of Chicago State University on April 7, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The federal government might soon OK Moderna and Pfizer booster shots for all adults, according to a report.

Moderna and Pfizer have asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for all adults. The agency could approve those changes this week, according to The New York Times. Then, just the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would need to OK the boosters for all adults.

So far, who can get a booster shot has varied and been loosely enforced — even as some officials have pushed for them to be provided to all adults.

Anyone 18 and older who got the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get a booster of any type once it’s been two months since their initial vaccination.

But people who got vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna shots have faced more restrictions. Those people can only get a booster shot if they are 65 or older, or if they’re 18 or older and live in a long-term care setting, have an underlying medical condition or work or live in a high-risk setting. It must also be at least six months since their second dose of vaccine.

Some officials have called for the boosters to be provided to all adults, especially as COVID-19 has started to increase in parts of the United States. The upper Midwest has been hit particularly hard by the most recent surge, and cases, hospitalizations and deaths have crept up in Chicago.

At the same time, many people have reported being able to get a booster shot even if they aren’t technically eligible.

Chicago’s officials haven’t explicitly said people should get the boosters if they aren’t eligible, but Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, has said people should get a booster if they think they are at risk from COVID-19.

Arwady has said it’s particularly key people get vaccinated or get a booster before the holidays to ensure they and their families are protected before they gather for events like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Saturday is the last day someone can get a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine if they want to be fully protected by Christmas.


• In Illinois, about 7.3 million people — or 57.38 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 61,695 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 16,621,901 vaccine doses of the 19,681,905 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.6 million Chicagoans — or 60.3 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 67.2 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Thirty Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Wednesday.

• At least 26,190 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,925 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 5,644 cases since Wednesday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,758,146.

• Since Wednesday, 181,622 tests were reported statewide. In all, 37,719,347 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 3 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 2.9 percent Wednesday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 3.6 percent. It was at 3.5 percent Wednesday.

• As of Wednesday night, 329 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 160 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, seven deaths were reported since Wednesday. There have been at least 5,964 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of four people dying per day, up 87 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has had 751 confirmed cases reported since Tuesday. It’s had a total of 336,474 confirmed cases. An average of 501 confirmed cases are being reported per day, up 18 percent from the week prior.

• Testing in Chicago is down 4 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 2.7 percent, up from 2.2 percent the week prior.

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