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KDHE reminds Kansans COVID-19 booster shots not approved yet

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FILE(WBRC)
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 3:20 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reminded Kansans that COVID-19 booster shots are not yet federally approved and thus, have not begun to be given to residents.

On Friday, Sept. 17, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said the first step for approval was completed in COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. However, it also said there are three steps yet that need to happen before certain Kansans can get a booster shot.

The KDHE said on Friday, the Federal Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted 18-0 to approve Pfizer-BioNTech booster doses for adults 65 and older and those that are 16 and older and high risk for infection.

However, the Department said the FDA did not recommend boosters for everyone aged 16 and over. It said the committee raised concerns about the lack of data, especially safety data, in younger populations. Committee members said they felt the booster dose would not significantly impact or mitigate the state of the pandemic.

According to the KDHE, the FDA is expected to authorize a booster COVID-19 vaccine for Pfizer early this week.

The Department also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet on Sept. 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., to discuss consideration of the authorization from the FDA regarding the booster doses. It said the ACIP recommendation will provide more specifics about the length of time after initial series completion the booster can be administered, eligible age groups and identified high-risk groups.

Following the ACIP meeting, the KDHE said the CDC Director will make the final decision to approve, amend or deny the recommendations. It said only this final decision by the CDC Director will allow providers to begin administration of booster doses.

In August 2021, the KDHE said an additional dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved for those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. These additional doses are not considered booster doses and remain available to eligible residents.

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