In a rare break with the FDA, the CDC announced Thursday that while it approved of the Pfizer booster for people over the age of 65 and long term care facility residents–as well as booster shots for all adults with underlying medical conditions–it would not yet signal its approval for healthcare workers and others who might be most exposed to Covid.
The CDC’s panel of independent advisors voted 9-6 against recommending booster shots for adults who work “in an occupational or institutional setting” that puts them in a great risk of exposure to COVID-19. The advisory would effect primarily health care workers and teachers.
The FDA meanwhile authorized booster for all adults who work in places that would make them more vulnerable to Covid-19.
The CDC’s present reluctance stems from the desire to focus–first and foremost–on getting unvaccinated Americans vaccinated. This is what the CDC wants prioritized since 1 in 4 Americans has had no vaccine at all.
Current CDC data indicates that Pfizer booster will bring the vaccine to a 90% effectiveness rate against getting Covid, and a 95% effectiveness against being hospitalized with Covid.
Moderna and Johnson and Johnson’s vaccines are expected to be approved soon.
Shares of Pfizer (PFE) closed up 0.55% at $44.19 Thursday.