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Tense decision-making as CDC joins FDA in recommending Pfizer booster shot for 65 & up, people at high risk and those with occupational exposure to COVID-19

6 27 25

Following the recommendations of its vaccine advisory committee, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization to Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for certain populations. The single shot is to be administered six months following completion of the original two-dose course.

The FDA’s Sept. 22, 2021, decision to not extend boosters to the general population – at least not yet – was a direct rebuke to the Biden administration’s announcement in August that booster shots would be rolled out to all eligible Americans beginning in late September. Biden’s pledge had been widely criticized for getting out in front of the science and the regulatory process.

The FDA instead limited its authorization of the third Pfizer dose to people 65 and older, people ages 18-64 at high risk of severe COVID-19 due to pre-existing conditions, and individuals with frequent risk of exposure to the coronavirus through their work, such as health care workers and teachers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices then issued its own booster recommendations on Sept. 23, 2021. Its guidance aligned with the FDA’s authorization of boosters for use in ages 65 and up and........

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