People who are 65 and older and healthcare workers are among those who soon will be able to receive Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention early Friday endorsed its panel’s recommendation to give the shot to seniors and people with underlying medical conditions.
The CDC also diverged from the Thursday recommendation of its panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP), and cleared the third Pfizer shot for workers who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission.
“I believe we can best serve the nation’s public health needs by providing booster doses for the elderly, those in long-term care facilities, people with underlying medical conditions, and for adults at high risk of disease from occupational and institutional exposures to COVID-19,” Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., director of the CDC, said in a statement. “This aligns with the FDA’s booster authorization and makes these groups eligible for a booster shot.”
She noted that Friday’s recommendation only applies to the Pfizer vaccine. “Today, ACIP only reviewed data for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,” she said. “We will address, with the same sense of urgency, recommendations for the Moderna and J&J vaccines as soon as those data are available.”
The CDC’s endorsement follows ACIP’s Thursday recommendation, which came on the heels of a Food and Drug Administration recommendation for boosters earlier this week.