NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Every adult in the U.S. could soon be eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot. That is if federal regulators approve Pfizer‘s request to expand the reach of their booster shot to anyone ages 18 and older.

As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Wednesday, that could even include people who didn’t get the Pfizer vaccine for their first two doses.

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More than 25 million Americans have gotten their booster shot. The Food and Drug Administration authorized it for adults who are 65 and older, at high-risk, or who already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


Now, Pfizer is asking the FDA to authorize its booster shot for everyone 18 and older, citing its new data that a booster shot safely offers close to complete protection from severe COVID infection.

“Here’s what we’ve seen already from preliminary results from Israel, from their experience. They have seen a significant increase in protection when they have given boosters across the population. But the most important thing we have to remember right now is if you’re eligible for a booster, please go out and get boosted,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said.

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“The data looks excellent. There’s longer follow up. It showed real safety and it showed that it worked, over 95% protection from infection,” Dr. David Agus said.

The FDA denied a request by Pfizer to expand eligibility for its booster back in September, saying there wasn’t enough information at that time. However, mounting evidence now shows that without a booster the vaccine’s effectiveness drops over time.

Plus, there’s concern about cases rising during this winter’s cold and flu season. About one-third of Americans haven’t even had one COVID shot.

“What we’re seeing is rising numbers of cases in areas where the temperature is dropping because people are moving indoors more, there’s more spread of the virus, and we’re seeing more breakthrough infections and, obviously, significant infections in those who are unvaccinated,” Agus said.

Unlike Pfizer’s previous request, this one will go straight to the FDA commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock, who could rule on it as soon as next week. Still, many experts say we will not boost ourselves out of this pandemic. It’s the more than 40% of completely unvaccinated Americans that we should focus on.

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If, as expected, the FDA grants the Pfizer emergency authorization request before Thanksgiving, Americans could expect a boost in immunity well ahead of the holiday season.

Dr. Max Gomez