CDC Director overrules panel regarding booster shots

In rare move, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky rules that people at risk of COVID-19 infection because of their jobs should also be eligible for a booster.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine

Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on Friday overruled recommendations from a key agency advisory panel regarding COVID-19 booster shots.

In a rare move, Walensky overruled the panel and said people at risk of COVID-19 infection because of their jobs should also be eligible for a booster, reported The Hill.

The move comes a day after a CDC panel recommended a booster shot of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and some adults with underlying medical conditions, but declined to recommend boosters for adults ages 18 to 64 who live or work in institutions with high risk of contracting COVID-19.

Boosters will be available six months after the completion of the second dosing for Americans over the age of 65, people in nursing homes, people with underlying medical conditions and people with jobs that put them at high risk of infection.

The shots are expected to be available at locations where the Pfizer vaccine is already being administered, including pharmacies, health departments, clinics and some doctor’s offices.

The CDC's guidance aligns with what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized on Wednesday.

The FDA decision Wednesday came after the agency’s panel of advisers last week rejected booster shots to all people over the age of 16, and instead recommended boosters only for those most vulnerable to severe cases of COVID-19.

The two-shot Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine received full FDA approval in August, also for those ages 16 and older.

Israel is already administering third doses of the vaccines. Britain began offering booster vaccines against COVID-19 this month, and Germany also announced it will do so.

The World Health Organization has criticized the booster campaigns, arguing that the vaccines should be reserved for poorer countries where many people have not yet even received one dose of a COVID vaccine.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)