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CDC says ages 18 and up should get booster shot

FILE - Licensed practical nurse Yokasta Castro, of Warwick, R.I., draws a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a mass vaccination clinic, Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass. U.S. regulators have opened up COVID-19 booster shots to all and more adults, Friday, Nov. 19, letting them choose another dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday broadened its recommendation for COVID-19 booster shots for all adults as the new omicron variant is identified in more 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 setting.

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

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

Walensky also encouraged Americans feeling unwell to seek out a COVID-19 test, saying “Increased testing will help us identify Omicron quickly.”