CDC advisory committee ok’s Pfizer COVID booster for seniors, Pa. health companies discuss plans

Vaccinate PA

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Millions of Americans could soon get a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine.

That’s after a CDC advisory committee voted to recommend it Thursday afternoon.

The FDA approved an emergency use authorization for that third dose on Wednesday and Thursday the CDC advisory panel spelled out just who’s eligible.

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine for people 65 and older, nursing home residents, and people 18 and older with underlying conditions.

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“When you look at the data for that population of individuals between the ages of 16 and 64, there’s not much to support the need that they need a booster at the six-month interval or the eight-month interval,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and a Pittsburgh based infectious disease, critical care, and emergency medicine physician said.

Adalja says the process around the booster discussion has been very scientifically driven, in spite of the White House announcing a plan last month to give a booster to all Americans.

“The debate upon boosters is being driven because we are seeing some erosion in those high-risk groups, the elderly particularly and that’s what’s driving this decision,” Adalja said.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health is planning to use its primary care network to give vaccines.

“We have a number of obvious pharmacies that are open to get vaccinations and we’re considering reopening or working on reopening our vaccination center down at one of the health campus buildings,” said Dr. Joseph Kontra, chief of infectious diseases

Chief of infectious diseases Dr. Joseph Kontra agrees with the FDA and now CDC’s recommendation.

“The FDA I think took a wise step to limit it to the older population and those who are at risk because of chronic medical conditions,” Kontra said. “Those are the vaccinated people that we’re seeing in the hospital.”

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