By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – All Colorado adults are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot six months after their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Recipients of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine are now eligible two months after their dose.

The latest public health order from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment prevents any vaccine administrator from turning away adults who are due for their booster.

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Until recently, most Colorado vaccine providers only provided boosters to individuals who met the CDC’s recommendation for booster shots. The CDC still says Americans who are over 65, live in long-term care settings, have underlying medical conditions or are frontline workers should make the booster a priority.

“My argument is that the state of Colorado is an institution, and within our institution, we have high rates of exposure,” explained Dr. Eric France Chief Medical Officer at CDPHE. “The vaccine continues to protect against severe disease and hospitalization, but may allow persons to get mild disease, which leads to ongoing transmission.”

One in 48 Coloradans is estimated to be infectious. There are fewer than 100 open emergency beds across the state. France says a booster will keep immunity up and more people out of hospitals.

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“We have a lot of cases. Our hospitals are strained. We each need to do what we can to be sure that we aren’t spreading COVID. That means wearing masks indoors and getting a booster if you’re 18 and older,” said France.

Many vaccine administrators still have CDC criteria listed to make an appointment for a booster. CDPHE is alerting all providers, advising them of the new public health order.

“The state order says that anyone who’s presenting for a vaccine can receive it. There aren’t any qualifications or questions to be asked by the person who’s providing it,” said France.

Tuesday, Pfizer asked the FDA to authorize booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans age 18 and older.

Tori Mason