The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 vaccine guidelines on March 29, recommending only one bivalent booster dose for all ages.
The decision comes after the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices stated in February that there is not enough evidence to recommend more than one annual COVID-19 booster to older Americans with weakened immune systems.
Additionally, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) no longer routinely recommends more than one booster dose for healthy adults and children with no immunocompromising conditions.
SAGE’s vaccine roadmap, updated March 28, outlines three priority-use groups for COVID-19 vaccination, primarily based on risk of severe disease and death. SAGE recommends an additional booster either six or 12 months after the last dose to high-priority groups, including younger adults with significant comorbidities, people with immunocompromising conditions, and front-line health workers.
Notably, it now recommends only one booster dose to medium- and low-priority groups, citing “low public health returns.”
Medium-priority groups include healthy adults under 50–60 years old without comorbidities, as well as children and adolescents with comorbidities.
Low-priority groups include healthy children and adolescents aged 6 months to 17 years. The WHO stated that the public health effect of vaccinating healthy children and adolescents is much lower than the established benefits of traditional essential vaccines for children, such as measles and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.
Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.
Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at email@example.com or 202.585.0127 with questions.