CDC says anyone aged 18 and over should get booster shots because of omicron concerns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday extended its recommendation for COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, as the new omicron variant has been identified in several countries.

The agency had previously approved boosters for all adults, but only recommended them for those 50 years and older, or if they live in a long-term care environment.

CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said the new guidance reflects the emergence of the omicron variant, which has not yet been identified in the United States, but which officials say will inevitably reach the country.

“Everyone 18 years and older should get a booster shot, either when they are 6 months after their first Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their first J&J vaccine,” she said in a statement.

Walensky also urged Americans who felt uncomfortable to seek out a COVID-19 test, saying “Increased testing will help us identify Omicron quickly.”

The World Health Organization warned Monday that the global risk from the omicron variant is “very high” based on early evidence, saying the mutated coronavirus could lead to increases with “serious consequences.”

The assessment by the UN Health Agency, contained in a technical paper issued to member countries, corresponded to the WHO’s strongest, most explicit warning to date on the new version, which was first identified days ago by researchers in South Africa.

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