CDC Panel recommends Pfizer booster shot

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 10:14 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - After debate, a CDC advisory panel recommended COVID-19 booster shots for the Pfizer vaccine.

For those 65 years and older, nursing home residents, and those age 18 and older with underlying conditions.

An Emergency Use Authorization granted late Wednesday by the FDA also included those potentially exposed to the virus because of their work, but the CDC panel rejected it.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC said, “You’re tasked with difficult decisions. Weighing the benefits and risks. Extrapolating from sometimes wealth and sometimes a paucity of data available.”

The FDA’s booster shot only applies to people who received both doses of Pfizer’s vaccine at least six months ago. The agency has not authorized Moderna or Johnson and Johnson.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson with The University of Kansas Health System said initial data shows people who got COVID-19 then got a vaccine had better levels of antibodies.

He encourages people who fall in the category of getting the booster shot -- to do so.

“You are still very well protected and you still have a high efficacy of preventing hospitalizations, severe disease but in that older age group, especially those over 65, I would recommend when it’s available and when you got vaccinated. Get that additional dose.”

The KDHE is waiting for official word from CDC before making any statement on how a roll-out might proceed. Shawnee County Health Officer Dr. Erin Locke will give her guidance about the booster shot tomorrow afternoon.

The decision from the CDC panel now heads to the CDC for final approval of who qualifies. The CDC usually follows its advisers’ recommendations.

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