Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot expanded to younger populations
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - People age 65 and older are eligible for a Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot. Those 50 years old and older who are high risk are also eligible for a third dose.
In a rare step taken by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, the objection to include people aged 18-64 was overruled. The newly eligible category includes people in that age group who have underlying health problems. It also included those who are at an increased risk of infection because of their jobs, like health care workers. Other people considered at risk of infection can also be those in some living conditions like jail or homeless shelters.
Doctor Gregory Poland is an infectious disease expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s vaccine research group. He says he agrees with the decision to include younger populations, but it now poses a new question.
“The difficulty in these recommendations is now the careful work that needs to be done in explaining to patients, the public, to providers, what those words mean.,” Poland said. “What does high risk mean, what does institutional setting mean, what does occupational risk mean, what does on individual consideration of risks and benefits mean.”
At this time, booster shots are only approved for Pfizer.
Poland also stresses the importance of getting a flu shot this year to avoid what he calls a twin-demic.
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