CDC Recommends Additional Booster for Those Over 50

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Chez Hadley

The Centers for Disease Control have updated their recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial mRNA booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19.

Separately and in addition, based on newly published data, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

“Current evidence suggests some waning of protection over time against serious outcomes from COVID-19 in older and immunocompromised individuals. Based on an analysis of emerging data, a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine could help increase protection levels for these higher-risk individuals,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

“Boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster 4 months after their prior dose to increase their protection further,” said CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky. This is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19 as they are the most likely to benefit from receiving an additional booster dose at this time. CDC, in collaboration with FDA and our public health partners, will continue to evaluate the need for additional booster doses for all Americans.”

The expanded eligibility acknowledges the increased risk of severe disease in certain populations including those who are elderly or over the age of 50 with multiple underlying conditions, along with the currently available data on vaccine and booster effectiveness.

Further, emerging evidence suggests that a second booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 is not associated with new safety concerns. The action applies only to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and the authorization of a single booster dose for other age groups with these vaccines remains unchanged. The agency will continue to evaluate data and information as it becomes available when considering the potential use of a second booster dose in other age groups.


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