CDC Panel Outlines Who Should Get Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Booster Shots, And Who Should Wait

The panel limited the additional dose to people who have already been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

CDC Panel Outlines Who Should Get Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Booster Shots, And Who Should Wait
booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for people 65 years or older, as well as anyone over 50 with certain underlying medical conditions. The committee also recommended allowing people 18- to 49-years-old with underlying medical conditions to receive a booster if they desired, based on individualized decisions about the benefits and risks to them.

But in one of its four votes, the committee decided against recommending booster shots for adults working in high-risk settings such as health care and school systems. That vote went against the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision on Sept. 22 to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people over 65-years-old, those ages 18 to 64 who are at higher risk of getting the disease, such as people with health conditions that weaken their immune systems, as well as health-care, front-line and emergency workers and teachers among others whose jobs make them more vulnerable to getting exposed to COVID-19. The FDA recommended that the booster be given at least six months after an individual receives the second of the two-dose vaccine to all of those groups.
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It was up to the CDC committee that met today, however, to determine how that authorization should be translated to the eligible groups. While the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) often follows the recommendation of the FDA, it doesn’t have to—the CDC’s mandate, which focuses more on public health goals, differs slightly from that of the FDA’s, which is more centered around evaluating safety and efficacy. “What we need to be doing is to look at the totality of evidence and think about what makes the most sense using the tools we have to protect as many people as possible, and how to operationalize this considering other things like feasibility,” Dr. Beth Bell, professor of global health at the University of Washington, reminded the committee. While the members generally agreed about recommending a booster for those over 65, they were divided about the necessity of the booster at this time for younger people, even those at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their jobs or other circumstances.

So far in the U.S., 220 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech have been administered, and 27 million people over age 65 years have received both doses of the vaccine. They were among the first to get vaccinated after Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine was approved, and now show the first signs of waning immunity—which is why the committee prioritized them to receive a booster dose to strengthen that protection.

In discussing whether boosters should also be extended to people with underlying medical conditions and those whose jobs might put them at higher risk of exposure, some members noted that authorizing the booster for these populations would raise concerns about health care equity, arguing that it could deepen gaps in coverage as those without access to care who remain unvaccinated continue to miss out on the opportunity to get protected against COVID-19. Ultimately, the committee decided to fully recommend the booster for everyone over 50 with underlying medical conditions, but to offer a less full-throated endorsement for those aged 18 to 49 with such conditions. For them, the ACIP is recommending that people choose for themselves whether they want to get a booster dose.

The CDC committee then deviated from the FDA when it came to people like health care workers under age 65 whose jobs might put them at increased risk of exposure and infection, noting that there isn’t strong evidence to suggest that they, if they are vaccinated, are experiencing higher rates of severe disease. The data show that the currently approved two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech continue to provide good protection against COVID-19, especially against severe illness, hospitalization and death. In particular, while Pfizer-BioNTech did provide the FDA and CDC with some data showing that a booster shot raised antibody levels among young people, those data only followed those people for a few months. And committee members also raised the point that, while apparently rare, some young males can develop a rare inflammation of the heart tissue as a side effect of getting the vaccine.

That’s why some of the members emphasized that their support of the booster today was an interim one, for an initial group of people, based on the available data available. “This is the beginning of a lot of activity around booster doses,” said Bell. “At this moment, given the lack of evidence for marginal benefit of boosters in people in certain groups who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series—it’s too narrow, and too soon, and given the potential risks or adverse outcomes it’s worth waiting until we know a little more about what we are doing, and we can better assess the opportunity costs, and the unintended consequences.”

The CDC committee was instructed that its booster decision would only apply to those who had been inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to begin with, since the FDA only reviewed data on that population. Some committee members, however, argued that the decision should also apply to people who initially got Moderna or Johnson&Johnson-Janssen shots in order to be fair and equitable. (Moderna has also submitted a request to the FDA for authorization of a booster dose of its vaccine, but the agency has not yet reviewed those results.) Such mixing and matching of doses, however, isn’t supported by currently available data.

Some committee members, like Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, argued that allowing mixing and matching of boosters would help more people to get vaccinated. He noted the burden of asking people to keep track of their vaccination records, and of asking those administering vaccines to validate those records. Dr. Sarah Long, professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine, added that limiting the booster to only those who initially got the Pfizer shot would be especially unfair to those living in long-term-care facilities who received an initial series of Moderna vaccine and would not be able to get a booster while their neighbors who received the Pfizer shot would be vaccinated again. “I don’t understand how later this afternoon we will say to people over 65 years that you are at risk of severe disease and death, but only half of you can protect yourselves right now,” she said.

But, as Dr. Doran Fink, from the FDA’s office of vaccines research and review told the committee, “there is currently no data available to inform interchangeability of authorized COVID vaccines, either for completing of the [two-dose] primary series or for use as a booster dose.” Because of this lack of data, the CDC panel ultimately decided that only people who previously received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot. This, however, is another area where today’s recommendation may not be the final word: study results on such mix-and-match approaches are expected imminently; researchers said the trial was completed, and the data have been submitted to a journal for publication.

The committee stressed that, for most people who have been vaccinated, the current two-dose regimen still provides strong protection against SARS-CoV-2, including against the Delta variant. “Our decision today is not about who deserves a booster but who needs a booster,” said Dr. Matthew Daley, senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “If you are in a group for whom a booster isn’t recommended today, the reason the booster isn’t recommended for you today is because the vaccine efficacy against serious outcomes is already high for those who have gotten the primary series.”

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How Proper Nutrition Can Change Your Life For The Better

Whether you have the willpower to practice better eating habits yourself or need to hire a professional for assistance, here are some reasons your nutritional choices matter.More

How Proper Nutrition Can Change Your Life For The Better

Written By Brooke Chaplan / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

A number of people find themselves wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle.  It may be tempting to go back and forth from the pantry to the couch and watch your favorite shows all day. However, this will not do much for your overall health.

Truthfully, your nutrition has a direct correlation to your total wellness. Whether you have the willpower to practice better eating habits yourself or need to hire a professional for assistance, below are some reasons your nutritional choices matter.

Drink Water to Maximize Energy

How often do you put important tasks on hold because you simply don’t have the energy? This has a lot to do with what you eat on a regular basis. When you eat smaller, healthier meals throughout the day, you have an easier time maintaining higher energy levels. Instead of consuming drinks that are high in sugar, you should drink water.

While they may initially give you a burst of energy, you’ll eventually experience a crash that has to be refueled by even more sugar. Instead, bring your water bottle and gradually drink it throughout the day to stay hydrated while keeping your daily calorie intake low.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

If you’ve been trying to figure out how to maintain your current weight or shed a few pounds, nutrition will definitely help. Not only will you have the energy to power through a rigorous workout with ease, but you’ll also feel full for longer. This translates to a smaller calorie intake and subsequently less weight gain.

Seek Professional Assistance

Sometimes it can be difficult to plan and follow your health goals. Because everyone’s body is unique, it can be difficult to determine where to begin. If you are struggling to come up with a realistic goal, consider finding a to help you.

Many experienced professionals are able to determine what you should be eating based on your body type. Following an expert’s instructions will help you learn exactly what your body needs to thrive daily.

Slow Down the Aging Process

Many healthy foods naturally have anti-aging properties. For instance, berries have a high antioxidant content, so adding them to your diet will help eliminate the free radicals that make you appear older. Water also hydrates your skin, so drinking enough of it every day can help keep your skin hydrated and minimizes wrinkling

In addition to appearing younger, eating a well-balanced diet increases your lifespan. Healthier meals packed with vitamins and minerals are the building blocks of a long life.

Making healthier food choices may be difficult in the beginning, but it comes with an endless number of benefits. If you have children, you can get them into the habit of eating nutritious meals every day and reach their full potential. When you give your body the right type of fuel, it can protect you from harmful illnesses as well as keep you powering through the day with ease.

Subscribe to our  newsletter for more information about . If you are looking for more health resources check out the  

Written By:

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan  

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed , a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at .

Source : Trusted Health Products More   

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