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Utah latest state to open COVID boosters to all adults

November 18, 2021 GMT
FILE - A man gets a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site at the Natick Mall on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Natick, Mass. All adults in Massachusetts are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. Gov. Charlie Baker's administration said Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, that residents aged 18 and over can get the additional shot six months after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two months since receiving a Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine. (Matt Stone/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - A man gets a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site at the Natick Mall on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Natick, Mass. All adults in Massachusetts are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. Gov. Charlie Baker's administration said Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, that residents aged 18 and over can get the additional shot six months after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two months since receiving a Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine. (Matt Stone/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - A man gets a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site at the Natick Mall on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Natick, Mass. All adults in Massachusetts are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. Gov. Charlie Baker's administration said Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, that residents aged 18 and over can get the additional shot six months after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two months since receiving a Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine. (Matt Stone/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah became the latest state Thursday to open COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all adults despite it not yet being authorized by the U.S. government.

Republican Gov. Spencer Cox announced the change during his monthly news conference on KUED. Utah is one of dozens of states dealing with increased spread of the virus as weather turns colder and people spend more time inside.

“The whole booster discussion has been very confusing to most people,” said Cox. “We just want to make it very simple.”

Utah and Massachusetts became the latest states Thursday to take the step, following several others including California, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia and Colorado who expanded the shots to all adults in the last week. New York City made a similar move.

Pfizer asked U.S. regulators last week to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 or older. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to decided on Pfizer’s application before the advisory panel meets Friday. The final step — CDC’s official recommendation — could come soon after the meeting.

Utah had the 10th-highest diagnosis rate of COVID cases in the U.S. Thursday, with the average daily cases rising 14% in the last two weeks.