CDC Expert Panel Endorses Pfizer, Moderna Boosters for All Adults
Within hours of the FDA authorizing booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all adults, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expert panel unanimously supported the decision.
In an 11 to 0 vote, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that people 18 years and over will be permitted to receive either a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster vaccine six months after a primary series, based on their individual benefit and risk.
The panel also voted unanimously to recommend that people 50 years and older “should” get a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster six months following a primary series, lowering the suggested age threshold which previously included individuals 65 years and older (DID, Oct. 22).
Individuals may also “mix and match” boosters from any vaccine maker, provided enough time has passed from their primary series, the panel said.
The advisory committee had previously endorsed the FDA’s revised Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allowing a booster J&J shot for all adults two months after they received a single-dose regimen, but the Pfizer and Moderna boosters were previously only available to those 18 years and older if they were at high-risk of contracting severe COVID-19 or at high-risk of based on their workplace.
Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, in remarks shortly before the ACIP’s Friday meeting, noted that “a single booster dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older helps to provide continued protection against COVID-19, including the serious consequences that can occur, such as hospitalization and death.”
The expanded authorization of booster shots will fulfill a Biden administration commitment, first announced in August, to provide boosters for every American adult.
The ACIP’s recommendations are headed to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky whose final sign-off is required before the boosters can be given to everyone. She is expected to approve it imminently. — Jason Scott