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CDC advisory panel votes to recommend Pfizer boosters for people 65 and older

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(NEW YORK) —  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s independent advisory panel has unanimously voted to recommend booster doses of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for people aged 65 and older, along with long-term care facility residents, at least six months after their second dose.

The panel also voted to recommend booster doses for people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old who have underlying medical conditions, at least six months out from their second dose.

This recommendation roughly follows — but is slightly more specific — than authorization Wednesday night from the Food and Drug Administration, greenlighting the third shot for anyone 65 or older, as well as for people as young as 18, if they have a medical condition that puts them at risk of severe COVID-19 or if they work a frontline job that makes it more likely that they would get infected.

The vote also follows weeks of contentious back and forth amongst top health experts over who should get a booster dose and when — and whether it’s still premature to be asking the question. However, advisory panelists ultimately voted to recommend the booster shot, informed by data showing the gradually waning immunity from the vaccine impacting the elderly and high risk groups.

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