CDC backs Pzifer COVID-19 booster shot, available to eligible Americans now
(KEYC) - The booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for Americans aged 65 and older, adults with underlying medical conditions and adults in high-risk working and institutional settings.
Up to 1 million Minnesotans are expected to become eligible for the Pfizer booster once six months have passed since they received their second dose.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the Pzifer booster for:
- Ages 65 and older.
- Ages 18 to 64 who have underlying health conditions that put them at high risk for severe COVID-19 infection
- As well as those who work in settings that may expose them to COVID-19 are also eligible to get the booster.
The move to okay boosters based on occupational settings comes after the CDC advisory panel voted no on Thursday.
The director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Friday, overruled the advisory’s recommendation. That means workers whose jobs put them at higher risk such as health care workers and teachers will be eligible for the booster.
“As CDC Director it’s my job to recognize where actions can have the greatest impact in a pandemic. We often take steps to do the greatest good even in an uncertain environment and that’s what I am doing with these recommendations,” says Dr. Walensky.
In a media briefing. Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccinologist at the Mayo Clinic says the decision by Dr. Walensky was “unusual”, in light of voting against the panel but says he agrees with her decision.
“The ACIP rejected that because they said it fundamentally opens the door to basically just saying, everybody age 18 and over should get a booster. And I would agree that the data does not support that at this point. While Dr. Walensky’s recommendation might be viewed as controversial I happen to support it,” said Dr. Poland. “There are frontline healthcare providers who’ve been battling this fire for 19 months straight non-stop who are at risk and this recommendation allows it’s not a “should” it’s “may”.
For occupational eligibility, the CDC says Americans will be able to receive the boosters if they “self-attest” that they are eligible.
Right now there is no approved booster for those who received Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines as their primary vaccination according to the CDC.
Even with the introduction of boosters, someone who has gotten just the first two doses would still be considered fully vaccinated.
Mayo Health Clinic System began offering Pfizer boosters to eligible patients and staff Friday. Patients who are 65 and older will be contacted through Patient Online Services and by letter.
Following the authorization, HyVee has announced it is now offering free Pfizer-BioNTech Booster vaccines to those who are eligible.
Copyright 2021 KEYC. All rights reserved.