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CDC head acknowledges confusion over boosters

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 9:48 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says she recognizes there’s some confusion now in the United States about who should get a COVID-19 vaccine booster.

For starters, the just-approved booster is intended for people originally vaccinated with shots made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech.

Last week, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky sided with most of the recommendations from CDC advisers on giving boosters six months after the last Pfizer dose for certain groups of people.

That includes people 65 and older, nursing home residents and people ages 50 to 64 with chronic health problems such as diabetes. People 18 and older with health problems can decide for themselves if they want a booster.

But Walensky also overrode advisers’ objections and said people at increased risk of infection because of their jobs or their living conditions could qualify for a booster now. That includes health care workers, teachers and people in jails or homeless shelters.

“I recognize that confusion right now,” Walensky told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“We are evaluating this science in real time,” she said. “We are meeting every several weeks now to evaluate the science. The science may very well show that the rest of the population needs to be boosted and we will provide those guidances as soon as we have the science to inform them.”

People who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are waiting to hear when they might be eligible for a booster.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.