The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now decided to offer booster doses of Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to all adults so that an expanded booster nationwide can begin this weekend.
“Based on the compelling evidence, all adults over 18 should now have equal access to a COVID-19 booster dose.” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement tonight.
Today the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of booster vaccinations in all adults, and a committee of independent advisors to the CDC unanimously voted to recommend booster vaccinations for all adults. Specifically, the committee voted unanimously (11: 0) that people are over 50 years old should receive a booster dose six months after the second dose and people 18 years and over can you will receive a booster vaccination after the second dose. The committee reached the unanimous decisions after reviewing extensive safety and clinical data showing that the third shots significantly increased antibody levels.
“Booster vaccinations have proven that they can safely increase people’s protection against infections and serious consequences and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus when we go on winter vacation.” Dr. Walensky added in her statement.
The consultants were not only impressed by the safety and effectiveness of the booster doses. They were also influenced by concerns about rising cases during the winter holidays as well as clear evidence that the current guidance on boosters is an obstacle to additional protection. The committee heard recent survey data suggesting that 40 percent of adults are unsure whether or not they are currently eligible for a booster dose. To date, boosters have only been recommended for certain groups, which has created confusion.
The instructions are now simply that anyone aged 18 and over who is fully vaccinated with one of the COVID-19 vaccines can get one of the vaccines as a booster.
Although the Biden government’s month-long push for boosters for all adults has sparked tension among experts and regulators, opposition to widespread boosting has faded lately. Many applauded today’s decision, including Dr. Gerald Harmon, president of the American Medical Association.
“We believe that FDA approval and ACIP’s recommendations to support booster doses for all adults will help ensure continued protection from COVID-19 as we move into the winter months,” said Dr. Harmon in a statement. “The data presented today showed that the side effects after mRNA booster doses are similar or lower than those after the primary vaccination series. The scientific evidence is clear that the vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and will remain effective. “
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