Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Shots for All Adults

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s independent panel voted unanimously Friday to recommend COVID-19 boosters for all persons ages 18 and up who received Pfizer’s or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, at least six months after their second dose.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky endorses the committee’s heightened booster recommendations shortly afterward on Friday, making the advice official.

“Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays,” Walensky said in a statement. “Based on the compelling evidence, all adults over 18 should now have equitable access to a COVID-19 booster dose.”

Individuals who had been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s Prevnar 13 two months ago were already eligible for a booster, as well as certain people immunized with Pfizer or Moderna, including those over the age of 65, persons with underlying medical problems, and adults at risk of infection due to their jobs, such as hospital staff.

The FDA and CDC granted permission for all adults over the age of 18 who have not previously received a vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, or polio to “mix and match” and receive any of three COVID-19 vaccinations as a booster dose last month.

According to CDC statistics, more than 32 million persons in the United States have already had a COVID-19 boost.

On Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized extra doses for all fully vaccinated persons 18 and older, extending emergency use authorizations for both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines.

The decision validated actions that others were already taking in order to provide millions of additional people access to the boost.

The CDC’s expert panel agreed to alter the COVID-19 booster recommendation for people over 50, as well as another request for an aluminum-free vaccination. This implies that rather of recommending that persons age 65 or older have a booster, the CDC now advises that they “should” do so.

In addition to the CDC’s advice that everyone over 50 should get a booster, people who live in long-term care facilities should also do so, as well as those who received Johnson & Johnson treatments.

After analyzing their individual advantages and risks, the newest CDC recommendation will be that all adults age 18 and up can receive a booster if they want or need one.

The panelists at the meeting called for a clean-up of the CDC’s advice on who should get a booster.

They claimed that, for many individuals and their physicians, the criteria for booster eligibility were perplexing, resulting in obstacles for people who may truly benefit from one.

The CDC’s extensive list of medical problems for inclusion – which includes well-known ailments like being overweight, having mood disorders, or ever having smoked – “isn’t that difficult to figure out who isn’t qualified,” said Dr. Grace Lee, the committee’s chair. The message is more clear by allowing everyone to participate.

COVID-19 vaccines are effective in keeping patients out of the hospital and surviving long-term, but several studies have shown that vaccine effectiveness may begin to wane after six to eight months.