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More states push booster shots for all adults; Moderna asks FDA for booster authorization

A coronavirus vaccine clinic is held Oct. 25 in Havertown, Pa., for area first responders and those eligible for the booster shots of all three authorized vaccines. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group/Daily Times/Getty Images)
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Cases already rising across different regions have fueled concerns for health officials — especially as the holidays approach and the colder weather brings more people inside. In a bid to protect a greater share of their population, a slew of states and officials are circumventing federal guidance from the CDC that limits eligibility for the coronavirus booster.

While California started the push to offer the extra shot to anyone over 18, other states — including Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas and West Virginia, as well as New York City — also joined the growing list. As of Wednesday, Kansas, Maine, Rhode Island, Louisiana and Minnesota decided to do the same.

Their moves come as Moderna requested Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration grant emergency authorization to allow adults ages 18 and older to receive its coronavirus booster vaccine — a decision that follows Pfizer and BioNTech, who submitted the same request last week.

With worries over waning vaccine immunity amid steadily increasing infections throughout the country, Biden administration officials are pushing federal health officials to open access to all adults. The FDA is expected to make a decision this week.

Here’s what to know

  • Americans moved last year at the lowest rate in over 70 years, according to Census Bureau data, defying perceptions that the pandemic had caused people to move at higher rates.
  • CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that more adults 65 and older are ending up in emergency rooms across the country, adding that these numbers are now higher than in younger age groups.
  • The U.S. drug epidemic reached another terrible milestone Wednesday when the government announced that more than 100,000 people had died of overdoses between April 2020 and April 2021. It is the first time that drug-related deaths have reached six figures in any 12-month period.