COVID-19: The Latest on Booster ShotsCoronavirus (COVID-19)
In May, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded Emergency Use Authorization (what’s a EUA?) for Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccines for children 5 to 11, in addition to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC now recommends that those aged 12 and older who are immunocompromised and those aged 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least four months after their first.
The agency cited a steady increase in cases, with a steep and substantial increase in hospitalizations for older Americans for the new guidance.
While older Americans have the highest coverage of any age group of first booster doses, most older Americans received their last dose (either their primary series or their first booster dose) many months ago, leaving many who are vulnerable without the protection they may need to prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
The CDC’s new recommendation not only expands eligibility to a younger population but also reinforces the importance of staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters, especially for those who are most vulnerable, according to Lee Health infectious disease specialist Dr. Stephanie Stovall, Chief Clinical Officer of Quality/Safety and Hospital-Based Care.
“Whether it is your first booster or your second, if you haven’t had a vaccine dose since the beginning of December 2021 and are eligible, now is the time to get one,” Dr. Stovall says.