KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas joined the list of states offering COVID-19 booster shots to all adults before waiting for federal guidance on Wednesday.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to give emergency use authorization this week for booster doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.
In Wednesday's announcement, Gov. Laura Kelly and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced all fully vaccinated Kansans older than 18 who are 6 months past their Pfizer or Moderna vaccination, or two months past Johnson & Johnson vaccination, are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is free, safe, effective, and the best way to keep our communities protected from this virus,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “Expanding access to booster shots will help us put an end to this deadly pandemic. Whether you are considering your first shot or signing up for a booster, I urge everyone to get the facts and get vaccinated.”
To be eligible, Kansans must also meet the below criteria:
- The patient’s assessment of risk exposure may include, but is not limited to, those who work with the public or live with someone who works with the public, live or work with someone at high risk of severe impact of COVID, live in geographic areas that have been heavily impacted by COVID, reside in high transmission areas [lnks.gd], live in congregate setting, experience social inequity or other risk conditions as assessed by the individual.
The announcement also said vaccine providers should allow patients to self-determine their risk of exposure.
Doctors at the University of Kansas Health System said many states are forging ahead because it's clear the FDA and CDC will give their approval.
"The reality of the situation is most anyone can walk into a commercial pharmacy and really ask or get some other sort of additional dosing of an mRNA platform vaccination," Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control, said.
Even though the state is urging all eligible adults to receive a booster, not all retail pharmacies are offering them to the new population just quite yet. A spokesperson for Hyvee told KSHB 41 News the company will wait for FDA and CDC approval.
For Olathe resident Brett Logwood, the booster is just another opportunity in the fight to end the pandemic.
"I’m confident that it’s safe, and I’m also confident that it’s effective," Logwood said. "I really hope that people will go ahead and get their booster now that anybody in Kansas can get it because I do think it will help protect us from the variants."