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CDC Advisers Recommend Pfizer Covid-19 Booster Doses For Certain Adults

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC's vaccine advisory panel has recommended booster doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for a wide range of adults.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices or ACIP on Thursday voted to endorse a single Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine booster to people 65 and older, long-term care facility residents and people 50 and older with underlying health conditions. The booster shots can be given at least six months after they were fully vaccinated.

The panel's decision comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for people 65 and older and those at higher risk, including healthcare workers, of breakthrough infections.

Meanwhile, the CDC advisers reportedly voted against recommending a booster dose for people whose jobs or situations put them at high risk of infection.

According to CDC, the underlying health conditions include cancer, stroke, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, diabetes, heart conditions, obesity, as well as pregnant women and smokers.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is required to sign off on the ACIP recommendations, following which booster shots may be given immediately to the recommended population.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, marketed as Comirnaty, had been authorized for emergency use in the US since last December for people age 16 and older. In May, the authorization was extended to those 12 and older.

In the U.S., a third dose of the vaccine was previously authorized for individuals at least 12 years of age who have undergone solid organ transplant, or who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.

The latest panel recommendations are only for those who have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA also is yet to take decision on Moderna's application for booster authorization, while Johnson & Johnson has not yet applied.

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