Starting Friday, clinics, doctors and pharmacies can begin giving out mix-and-match COVID-19 booster shots.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the measure late Thursday following a CDC advisory committee's recommendation that Americans be allowed to choose among the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as a COVID-19 booster shot. The committee said it could increase protection against the disease that is killing on average 1,093 Americans a day.
"The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe - as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given. And, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.
Walenskey also endorsed a second shot for all 15 million Americans who received the one-dose J&J vaccine, as well as a booster dose for certain groups of people who got the Moderna vaccine. Read more here.
- Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
Also in the news:
►Three African lions at the Indianapolis Zoo have tested positive for the delta variant and have been taken off exhibit, officials said Thursday.
►In Michigan, about 70 Beaumont Health workers resigned rather than take the COVID-19 vaccine and 370 have been suspended for failing to meet an Oct. 18 deadline for vaccination, the health system announced Thursday.
►Restaurants, movie theaters and many retail stores in Moscow will be closed for 11 days starting Oct. 28, along with other new restrictions as Russia recorded the highest numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths since the pandemic began.
►Ready for some sun? Hawaii's governor welcomed back tourists as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations dropped.
???? Today's numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 45 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 733,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 242 million cases and 4.9 million deaths. More than 189 million Americans - 57.2% of the population - are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
???? What we're reading: Many local health officials face a 'miserable' job of fighting COVID despite restrictive laws and abuse. Read more here.