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War Against Corona

CDC expands eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots in certain sections of American population

A nurse preparing an injection. Photo: fernando zhiminaicela/ Pixabay

Atlanta (Georgia, US), Oct 22 (MNN) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed the recommendation of CDC Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices’ (ACIP) for a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccines in certain populations.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorisation and CDC’s recommendation endorsed on Thursday (local time) for use are important steps forward as the US works to stay ahead of the virus and keep Americans safe, the CDC said.

For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series: Those 65 years and older; those aged over 18 who live in long-term care settings; those aged over 18 who have underlying medical conditions; and those over 18 who work or live in high-risk settings.

For the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others, may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Millions of people are newly eligible to receive a booster shot and will benefit from additional protection. However, Friday’s action should not distract from the critical work of ensuring that unvaccinated people take the first step and get an initial COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC added.

More than 65 million Americans remain unvaccinated, leaving themselves – and their children, families, loved ones, and communities– vulnerable.

CDC Director Rochelle P Walensky, who gave the nod to the recommendations, said: “These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19. The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorised in the United States are safe – as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given. And, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalisation, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant.”

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