CDC advisory panel voted against giving workers with a higher risk of getting COVID-19 a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot, after FDA authorized it

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The Food and Drug Administration authorized booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use in some groups on Wednesday, and lots of American workers just became eligible.

The FDA authorized the boosters for people 65 and older and people 18 to 64 who are at a high risk of getting a severe case of COVID-19. It also approved the shots for people 18 to 64 who are at a higher risk of getting COVID-19 while at work. That could include healthcare workers, teachers, and grocery store employees, among other occupations.

But on Thursday, an independent group of medical advisors to the Centers for Disease Control split with the FDA and voted 9-6 against recommending booster doses for adults who are at greater risk of COVID exposure in their work, including healthcare workers and teachers.

The CDC panel did vote to recommend boosters to older adults who had their first two shots at least six months ago, as well as to adults with underlying medical conditions. While the vote for older adults was unanimous, the panel split 13-2 on recommending boosters to 50-64 year-olds with underlying conditions, and 9-6 on recommending extra shots for 18-49 year-olds.

Unlike the initial vaccine rollout, the US is less likely to face a supply issue where those who are eligible have a difficult time getting a shot.

The US is still urging Americans to get their first vaccine dose. As of Wednesday, 75% of eligible Americans 12 years of age or older had received one vaccine dose according to the CDC, while 64% were fully vaccinated.

Read the original article on Business Insider