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CDC Panel Endorses Pfizer Booster Shots for Older, At-Risk Americans

© REUTERS / Hannah BeierDr. Mayank Amin draws a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine before giving a booster dose at Skippack Pharmacy in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, U.S., August 14, 2021
Dr. Mayank Amin draws a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine before giving a booster dose at Skippack Pharmacy in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, U.S., August 14, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.09.2021
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Thursday to recommend the distribution of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine booster shots.
The panel's decision comes a day after the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of Pfizer-BioNTech's covid vaccine booster shot. The CDC is recommending that all adults over the age of 65 and adults with underlying medical conditions receive the booster.
The panel's decision is just the first round of voting. In a later vote, they will decide on a recommendation for adults who are frequently exposed to the virus. This group includes health care workers, people in nursing homes and prisons, and essential workers.
The panel's recommendations are not final, but Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the CDC, is expected to accept their verdict.
In the build-up to the panel's decision, some experts worried that recommending booster shots would hinder the vaccination efforts of the unvaccinated and spark fear that the vaccine does not work.
FDA authorization of Pfizer's booster shot only extends to those that received Pfizer in their initial round of vaccination. The CDC's recommendations will follow the FDA's guidelines.
The FDA is expected to determine the efficacy of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson's vaccine booster over the coming months.
US President Joe Biden had hoped to make booster shots available to all adults. With the FDA and CDC's rulings, his administration will have to wait to achieve those lofty goals.
The argument over recommending boosters for all adults centered on how vaccine protection from the disease has been seen to decrease over time. A study found that while protection from mild covid symptoms were shown to ease over time, protection from severe symptoms, that result in hospitalization and death, persists.
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