COVID-19 vaccine: CDC panel backs expanded booster rollout – Washington Daily News – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-10-21 19:26:55 –

Washington (AP) —Millions of Americans are approaching getting a COVID-19 booster as influential government advisers approved additional doses of all three of the country’s vaccines on Thursday. — And opened up the possibility of choosing another company’s brand for the next shot.

Certain people who were vaccinated with Pfizer a few months ago were already qualified as boosters, and now Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisors say that certain Modana and Johnson & Johnson recipients also need to qualify. say. And in a larger change, the panel allowed the flexibility to “mix and match” that extra dose, regardless of the type people originally received.

The Food and Drug Administration has already approved such an expansion of the country’s booster campaign on Wednesday, but the CDC led by its advisory board has the final word on who should roll up their sleeves. increase. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky was to rule soon.

Dr. Helen Kape Talbot, CDC Advisor at Vanderbilt University, said, “We are in a different place than before the pandemic” when people had to take whatever shots were offered due to supply constraints. Said.

She called the ability to choose a different type of booster, for example, “valuable” if someone might be at risk of the rare side effects of a particular vaccine.

There are still restrictions on who qualifies and when to use boosters. From 6 months after your last Pfizer vaccination, get a booster if you are 65 years old or older, a nursing home resident, or 50 years old or older and at high risk of serious illness due to health problems. You will be prompted. Boosters were also allowed, but not enforced, for adults of all ages at high risk of infection due to health problems and their work and living conditions. This includes health care workers, teachers, people in prisons and homeless shelters.

The CDC panel endorsed the same qualifications for Moderna recipients to get boosters. Moderna boosters are offered at half the dose of the original two shots.

For single-shot J & J vaccination recipients, the COVID-19 booster is recommended for everyone at least 2 months after vaccination. This is because the J & J vaccine has not proven to be as protective as the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer option.

The panel did not explicitly recommend acquiring a brand different from the original, but left the option open. He just said that some kind of booster was recommended. In addition, some advisors said J & J recipients want to receive competitor boosters, and preliminary data from ongoing government research suggesting a significant boost in virus-fighting antibodies with that combination. Was quoted.

Approximately two-thirds of Americans targeted for COVID-19 shots are fully vaccinated, and the government states that taking the first unvaccinated shot remains a priority. Health officials want boosters to boost immunity to mild coronavirus infections, but all vaccines still provide strong protection against hospitalization and death.

And CDC advisers wrestled with the ability to obtain healthy adults who really don’t need boosters, especially young people, otherwise their work is the only qualification.

Dr. Sarah Long of Drexel University has expressed concern about exposing those people to rare but serious side effects from different doses if they are already well protected.

Dr. Beth Bell of the University of Washington said:

However, she emphasized that it makes sense to follow the recommendations in order for the vaccine to work and to be clear and flexible with respect to boosters.

Despite the concerns of some members, the panel’s vote ended unanimously.

The majority of the approximately 190 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated with COVID-19 receive the Pfizer or Moderna option, but only approximately 15 million J & J recipients.

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