CDC Advisers to Meet Nov. 19 on Expanding Pfizer Booster Eligibility
(Bloomberg) -- The panel that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccination policies has scheduled a meeting for Nov. 19 to discuss expanding eligibility for booster shots of the vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE.
Pfizer asked federal regulators to sign off on an expansion of booster-shot eligibility earlier this month. The third shots are currently authorized for people 65 and older, as well as people 18 and up at higher risk of severe Covid. The CDC confirmed the advisory committee’s agenda in an email.
The Biden administration has been eager to get more supplemental doses into arms, and some states have already widened access ahead of a federal decision. But uptake of third shots for those who do meet current guidelines has been low, with just 16% of fully vaccinated people having received an additional dose as of Tuesday.
The Food and Drug Administration would need to weigh in on Pfizer’s request for expanded eligibility too, and often makes its ruling on authorizations shortly before the CDC advisers meet. Assuming that happens, and the advisers recommend an expansion and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky agrees, the shots could become more widely available as soon as this weekend.
Some jurisdictions, including New York City, Colorado and California, have begun encouraging adults to get boosters of vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson even before they’re cleared by federal regulators.
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