Advertisement

CDC approves 3rd Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dose for Americans over 65 or at high risk

CDC approves 3rd Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dose for Americans over 65 or at high risk
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, in endorsing the booster, overruled the advisory committee and kept the recommendation for a third Pfizer COVID-19 shot for some younger at-risk Americans. File Pool Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Thursday approved a third dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for Americans over 65 -- and for younger people who are at increased risk of infection due to their profession.

The decision makes available a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine to tens of millions of Americans six months after they receive the second shot.

Advertisement

Earlier Thursday, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted in favor of the booster for those over 65, but voted against making it available to those 18 to 64 who are at risk of infection because of their jobs, such as healthcare and front-line workers or another line of work that makes them susceptible.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, in endorsing the booster, overruled the committee and kept the recommendation for younger at-risk Americans.

RELATED COVID-19 could make Guillain-Barre more likely for those at risk

In a statement late Thursday, Walensky explained that it was her responsibility as CDC director "to recognize where our actions can have the greatest impact."

"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," she said.

Advertisement

The CDC endorsement also includes giving the booster shot to those age 18 to 64 with underlying medical conditions that put them at increased risk. However, it applies only to those who received the vaccine made by Pfizer and partner BioNTech.

RELATED U.S. gives $147K to Florida school board that violated DeSantis' mask ban

On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval for the administration of the Pfizer booster for people over 65 and those at increased risk.

Dr. Leana Wen, author and visiting professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, said the panel's decision to exclude those in high-risk professions was "a mistake" and called on Walensky to act.

"We are not allowing healthcare workers, many of whom got vaccinated in back in December, to get the booster? What about teachers in cramped classrooms where masks aren't required?" she said in a tweet. "[CDC Director Walensky] needs to overrule."

RELATED New unemployment filings in U.S. rise to 351,000

President Joe Biden's administration has sought to make available booster doses to everyone over age 16. The FDA voted down boosters for that age range a week ago, instead recommending them only for older Americans.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement