WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky endorsed the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine booster shot for younger at-risk workers, overruling a panel decision.
The CDC panel had recommended the booster for Americans 65 and older and for those over 50 with underlying medical conditions, but voted against the younger at-risk worker recommendation.
The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.
“As CDC Director, it is my job to recognize where our actions can have the greatest impact,” Walensky said in a statement late Thursday night. “At CDC, we are tasked with analyzing complex, often imperfect data to make concrete recommendations that optimize health. In a pandemic, even with uncertainty, we must take actions that we anticipate will do the greatest good.”
The CDC panel had expressed concern over the millions of Americans who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shots early in the vaccine rollout.
The federal government still hasn’t considered boosters for those brands and has no data on whether it is safe or effective to mix-and-match and give those people a Pfizer shot.