CDC advisory committee recommends COVID-19 booster shots for those aged 65 and older
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee voted 16-0 on Thursday to recommend a booster shot for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people 65 and older.
The age group was one of four options the committee considered.
"I feel like we're putting lipstick on hogs. This is not going to solve the pandemic," said Dr. Helen Talbot. She and other members of the advisory committee offered some strong opinions Thursday as they discussed who should be able to receive a booster shot.
Talbot and some others did vote yes but argued the focus should be on getting more first and second shots in arms rather than boosters.
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"We could give boosters to people, but that's not really the answer to this pandemic," Talbot emphasized.
Though not unanimous, the committee also voted to recommend the booster for those ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions and those 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions.
Experts say a third dose undoubtedly ramps up antibody levels, but it's unclear how long that increase lasts and whether it can significantly decrease transmission of the virus.
"The goal is to prevent serious illness from COVID-19 for everyone in the country, so this isn't about who deserves it- it's about who needs a booster," said Dr. Matthew Daley.
Though not unanimously, the committee also voted to recommend the booster for those 18 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.
They did, however, vote against recommending the third shot for people 18 to 64 who are in an occupational setting where the risk of infection is high.