CDC director reports on Pfizer, Moderna boosters for all adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday gave a final signoff for anyone 18 years and older to get a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster if they are at least six months after their last shot, which blanketed many Americans for extra protection prior to for a possible winter increase in case.

Recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have already been given permission to receive a booster two months after their first shot.

“Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and serious outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter winter break. Based on compelling evidence, all adults over 18 should now have equal access to a COVID-19 booster dose, “CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

The CDC’s advisory panel voted unanimously to recommend the boosters earlier on Friday.

In particular, the panel called on all 50 and older to get a booster, while anyone between 18 and 49 could get one.

Panelists were thrilled that the new recommendations were simpler than the previous ones and would cut through confusion that had potentially deterred people from lining up for extra shots.

Earlier, the FDA and CDC recommended Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna boosters for those 65 and older and people at high risk of getting the virus – either because of their jobs where they live or underlying conditions – six months after their second shot, and Johnson & Johnson for all two months after their first shot.

“As a clinician deep in the clinical trenches, I’m really pleased that we have clarity and streamlining of the recommendations so that all Americans can understand the vaccines recommended to them at this time, and I’m proud of the work we do.” done today, “Dr. Camille Kotton, clinical director of the Infectious Diseases Division at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the panel.

As he weighed his decision to recommend boosters to all adults, panelist Dr. asked. Oliver Brooks, chief physician at Watts Healthcare Corporation in Los Angeles, “Is there a reason not to do so, and primarily is there a safety reason not to do so?”

“The information says no, for me there are no security reasons not to do so,” he said.

“And is it so necessary?” asked Brooks. “I think important data that was presented at the very beginning is that the case frequency is increasing and that there is information showing that there is some protection, at least in the first few months, with potential transfer when we hit the holidays. “

Dr. Matthew Daley, panelist and senior researcher at the Institute for Health Research, said he specifically supported a “stronger” recommendation for adults over 50 “to ensure we provide as much protection as we can” given increasing cases in the United States and in abroad.

“I feel the benefits of that group of a stronger recommendation would outweigh the risks,” Daley said.

Earlier in the day, the Food and Drug Administration approved booster doses of the mRNA vaccines with two shots for all 18 years and older, which set the process in motion.

“The FDA has determined that the currently available data support the extension of the eligibility of a single booster dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to persons 18 years of age and older,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement Friday morning.

“Streamlining eligibility criteria and making booster doses available to all people 18 years and older will also help eliminate confusion about who can receive a booster dose and ensure that booster doses are available to anyone who may need one,” he said. Marks.

The approval came as many states face increases in COVID-19 infections. Fourteen states plus New York City have officially asked all of their residents to get booster shots prior to notification from the FDA. While the most effective way to stop the number of cases is to vaccinate the unvaccinated, public health officials are also eager to fight breakthrough cases as hospitals approach capacity.

While the previous recommendation for boosters broadly covered the majority of vaccinated Americans, the extended booster authorization will bring coverage to more young people, a group that deliberately omitted the recommendations two months ago because experts wanted more data.

They raised questions about whether young people needed boosters provided the strong protection the vaccines still provide against hospitalization and deaths for that age group. They also questioned whether there was enough data on the safety of a third shot for this group, as much of the data was on older populations who had begun to lose protection.

On Friday, the FDA said it had conducted a risk-benefit analysis with “additional real-world data.” Specifically, the FDA said the benefits of a booster dose outweigh the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis, inflammatory heart conditions that have been linked to the mRNA vaccines in rare cases, mostly in teenage and young adult men.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has been working to make timely decisions on public health as the pandemic progresses,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement Friday.

“COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be the best and most effective defense against COVID-19. Approval of the use of a single booster dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for persons aged 18 and over “The elderly are helping to provide continued protection against COVID-19, including the serious consequences that can occur, such as hospitalization and death,” she said.

At its latest request, Pfizer submitted more data. The clinical trials, which examined 10,000 adults of all ages, showed that people who received a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had a 95% effect against COVID-19 compared to those who received two shots, according to a press release from Pfizer Nov. 9 Compared to unvaccinated humans, Pfizer expected an effect of 98%.

Delivering boosters to all adults will finally help President Joe Biden fulfill an August promise in which he announced a plan to offer all Americans boosters eight months after their second shot.

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