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COVID-19: FDA, CDC Recommend Pfizer Booster Shot

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sept. 22 authorized a third booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be administered at least six months after the initial vaccine for select groups, including:

  • people ages 65 and older; and
  • people ages 18–64 at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 presents high risk. This group includes health care workers, teachers and child care staff, grocery workers, and people in homeless shelters or prisons.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) subsequently recommended the FDA-authorized booster shots for people ages 65 and older, residents in long-term care settings, and people age 18–64 who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The agency notes booster shots may be administered based on individual benefits and risks to people ages 18–49 with underlying medical conditions and people aged 18-64 at increased risk because of their occupational or institutional setting.

CDC will hold a Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity call on the booster recommendations Sept. 28, 2–3 pm ET. Contact coca@cdc.gov with questions.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Sept. 24 announced coverage of booster shots for all Medicare beneficiaries and nearly all Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries without cost-sharing.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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