Governor Beshear Expands Booster Shot Eligibility in Kentucky
By: Emily H. Lineweaver
In response to the Delta variant and the approaching holiday season, Governor Beshear issued an Executive Order on November 17, 2021, declaring that all individuals 18 years of age or older, living or working in the Commonwealth of Kentucky are now eligible to receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Following the Governor’s announcement, on November 19, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorizations for both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to authorize use of a single booster dose for all individuals 18 years of age and older after completion of a primary vaccination with any FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. Prior to these announcements, a single booster dose was authorized only for individuals 65 years of age and older, individuals 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19 and individuals 18 through 64 with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) booster shot policy currently remains the same, only recommending boosters for people who have received the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna vaccine at least six months prior and are 65 years of age and older or are 18 years of age and older and live in long-term care settings, have underlying medical conditions or work or live in high risk settings. For those who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J) one-shot vaccine, the CDC authorizes anyone 18 years of age or older to receive an authorized booster shot if it has been at least two months since their primary J&J shot was received. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet today to discuss further clinical recommendations, according to the FDA’s news release on the matter.