LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas is expanding the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine boosters to anyone aged 18 and older, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday.
The state joins several others that are making the additional shot available to more people. California, Colorado and New Mexico have also expanded eligibility for the booster in recent days.
The state previously made the booster available for people 65 and older, who work in high-risk settings or had underlying health conditions,
Hutchinson called the previous guidelines for the booster shot "somewhat confusing and limiting."
"We want to make sure everyone 18 and over is eligible and is encouraged to get the booster," Hutchinson said at his weekly news conference.
Under the new guidelines, the state recommends a booster six months after the second Pfizer or Moderna shot or two months after a first Johnson & Johnson shot.
Arkansas' active COVID-19 cases dropped after several days of increases, decreasing by 351 to 4,785. The state's total COVID-19 cases increased by 151 to 519,911 since the pandemic began. The state reported 12 new deaths, bringing its total to 8,579.
Arkansas ranks 37th in the country for new cases per capita, according to Johns Hopkins University research data.