By Manas Mishra
(Reuters) – The United States is rolling out booster shots https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-cdc-advisers-recommend-covid-19-vaccine-boosters-65-older-high-risk-2021-09-23 of the Pfizer Inc (NYSE:) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:) COVID-19 vaccine for some Americans who received their second jab at least six months ago. Below is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decisions on who should and shouldn’t get shots.
WHICH OLDER AMERICANS SHOULD GET A SHOT? AND WHY?
The CDC recommended that people over 65, nearly 17%, receive a booster dose from Pfizer/BioNTech shots if they had received the vaccine in the past.
According to CDC data over 13.6million people were in this age bracket who had been given a booster dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine within the last six months.
Although scientists disagree on the necessity of a booster dose of vaccine, evidence has indicated that older adults are less likely to be hospitalized due to the high- transmissible Delta coronavirus variant. Some research suggests that this age group has a decline in vaccine effectiveness.
WHO IS QUALIFIED AS HIGH-RISK?
The CDC stated that people 50-64 with underlying medical conditions need a boost. It may also be available to individuals 18-49 based on individual risks and benefits.
People with high risk medical conditions are people more likely to develop severe COVID-19. This includes those suffering from diabetes, heart disease, and chronic lung disease. Experts say that pregnant women and smokers may also be eligible for the booster dose.
Based on COVID-19 levels at home or at work, the FDA and CDC deemed people 18-64 at risk. The FDA and CDC did not specify at-risk jobs. But, the CDC stated that boosters can be obtained if people request them.
These workers could be in the following categories: teachers, nurses, day care workers and grocery workers. They also include those who live in shelters, prisons, or other places that are vulnerable to homelessness.
The CDC estimates over 50 million people would eventually be eligible for booster shots under such a recommendation, but that figure also includes recipients of the Moderna (NASDAQ:) Inc and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) vaccines.
WHAT & WHERE
White House advisors stated that boosters should immediately be made available at approximately 80,000 places nationwide, including long-term care facilities and pharmacies. Eligible recipients include residents of nursing homes, long-term care institutions and others.
Walgreens Boots Alliance and Walmart (NYSE.) Inc have indicated that they can administer booster shots.
WHAT ABOUT MODERNA AND J&J?
So far, only BioNTech/Pfizer’s vaccine was approved as a booster dose.
Moderna submitted an FDA application earlier in the month for approval of a third dosage of its vaccine. Johnson & Johnson has not yet applied for authorization of what would be a second shot for it’s one-dose vaccine, but has said it plans to do so.
The CDC said it will look to address the recommendations for the Moderna and J&J boosters “with the same sense of urgency,” as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, as soon as the data is available.
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