The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed COVID-19 booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans. The move opens a major new phase in the U.S vaccination drive against the coronavirus.
The CDC advisory panel had voted against providing boosters to people in high-risk jobs, arguing that such a recommendation would open the gates to virtually any adults who wanted a booster because a "high-risk" position is undefined.
The advisers said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems.
But the CDC's Dr. Rochelle Walensky overruled her own board and added "high-risk" jobs to the list.
So, to be clear, the FDA and the CDC recommend that those that should get boosters are:
- People ages 65 and older, six months after vaccination
- Long term care residents, six months after vaccination
- People ages 50 to 64 with underlying health conditions, six months after vaccination
- People ages 18 to 49 with underlying conditions should weigh their individual benefits with risks
- People working in high exposure occupations (such as prisons and jails, health care workers, teachers, first responders), six months after vaccination. The list could also include store clerks and anybody who interacts with the public.
The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.