The CDC Friday gave its approval of FDA recommendations that all adults 18+ who revived a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccination to immediately be eligible for a booster shot.

Booster shots can be administered six months after receiving the  initial second dose. The CDC had previously said all adults who received the one shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine were eligible two months after the initial dosage.

The booster shots can be mixed and matched. Someone who initially received a full Pfizer dosage can take a Moderna booster, for example.

"Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays," CDC CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky said in a statement. "Based on the compelling evidence, all adults over 18 should now have equitable access to a COVID-19 booster dose.”

The approval comes as the expected "winter surge" arrived in northern New England as the number of positive cases continues to rise.

New Hampshire's Department of Health report 7,604 current reported COVID-19 cases with 326 hospitalizations as of Friday. Rockingham County has the most new cases at 187 while Strafford County has 87.

Maine reported 850 confirmed new cases as of Friday.

Earlier in the week Wentworth-Douglass Hospital said it has reached pandemic highs with COVID-19+ inpatients. Their medicine and surgery area was above 100% capacity with the emergency room about 130%

Portsmouth Regional Hospital and sister hospital Frisbie Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Lynn Robbins told Seacoast Current they have seen increased traffic in their emergency rooms as well

The booster are available at these pharmacies:

  • CVS is offering the booster shot immediately and accepting appointments on its website
  • Walgreens is offering the booster shot immediately and accepting appointments on its website
  • Rite Aid and Walmart which were already offering boosters during the initial eligibility did not yet update their respective websites about the new eligibility

As of Thursday 55% of New Hampshire residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with 60% having received at least one dose, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

72% of Maine residents are fully vaccinated with 69% having received the first dose, according to the Maine CDC.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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