CDC Says Boosters Should Be Only for Immunocompromised for Now
(Bloomberg) -- Booster shots that are expected to be approved for people with compromised immune systems aren’t appropriate for other people at this time, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
As soon as Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to recommend a third Covid-19 vaccine dose for immunocompromised people. But no one else should seek to get another shot on their own, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a briefing.
“At this time, only certain immune-compromised individuals may need an additional dose,” said Walensky, who spoke alongside Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser for the pandemic.
Fauci said elderly or otherwise high-risk individuals shouldn’t seek out a third dose, though booster shots are likely to be recommended for them at some point.
The FDA is in talks with Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. to authorize third doses for immune-compromised individuals, who make up about 3% of the U.S. population. Another shot could help increase protection for these individuals, who may not generate a sufficient immune response from the vaccine.
Fauci said that, while the general population may not need boosters yet, “sooner or later” they will.
“We are preparing for the eventuality of doing that,” he said. “So if the data shows us that in fact we do need to do that, we’ll be very ready to do it and do it expeditiously.”
The World Health Organization has called for a moratorium on booster shots to enable poorer countries to catch up in vaccination rates.
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