Vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention argued long and hard Thursday before recommending booster shots for some Americans age 18 and older who got Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted easily to recommend booster doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to people 65 and older who had their first two Pfizer doses six months ago or longer.
They also voted easily to recommend boosters to people 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that might put them at higher risk of severe disease. However, the advisers were divided on the question of recommending such boosters to people under 50. In a separate question, they voted 9-6 to recommend boosters to people 18-49 who have underlying health conditions.
After long arguments, they voted against recommending boosters for people whose occupations put them at high risk of infection – rejecting the US Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization decision that included such people, such as healthcare workers and other first responders.
What could happen next: CDC officials noted that ACIP can come back and vote on such questions again at any time.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky will now need to issue her own decision on ACIP’s recommendations.