CDC expands eligibility of boosters for 18+
November 22, 2021
Last Friday, the CDC expanded booster eligibility for everyone over 18 years of age. Those who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine may now receive a booster dose 6 months after their primary series.
Ahead of the CDC’s endorsement, an advisory committee to the CDC convened to discuss two new recommendations. Members voted 11-0 in favor of both recommendations:
#1 – A single COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is recommended for persons aged 18+ who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series based on individual benefit and risk, at least 6 months after the primary series, under the FDA’s EUA.
#2 – A single COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is recommended for persons 50+ years who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after the primary series under the FDA’s EUA.
During the ACIP meeting, both Pfizer and Moderna presented on clinical studies for booster doses. The Pfizer booster will measure the same as the primary series at 30 micrograms; the Moderna booster is a half dose at 50 micrograms versus 100 micrograms for the primary series and third dose. It is not recommended that those who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine for their primary series, followed by a second dose, receive a third dose of Johnson & Johnson at this time.
The ACIP also clarified that those who have received a primary series are still considered “fully vaccinated,” and that booster doses should be assessed individually based on age and a person’s medical profile. As of now, booster doses have not been proven to decrease hospitalization; it has only been extrapolated from existing data. Existing data supports booster doses improving protection against symptomatic infection.