611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

member support line
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


powered by centersite dot net
Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
How Folks Are Coping With Post-COVID Loss of Smell, TasteRoutine Ventilation of Surgical Patients Won't Raise COVID Transmission RiskImmunocompromised May Need Fourth COVID Shot: CDCLiver Transplants Soar as Some Americans Drink Their Way Through the PandemicFDA Advisors Approve Emergency Use of Pfizer COVID Vaccine in Kids 5 to 11COVID Vaccination Can Be Safe Even in People With Severe AllergiesTargeted High-Dose Radiation Helps Fight Advanced Lung CancerTrader Joe's Salami Snacks Tied to 20 Salmonella Cases in 8 StatesWhite House Takes More Steps to Boost Supply of Rapid at-Home COVID TestsBiden Administration Announces Details of Vaccination Requirements for Foreign TravelersAHA News: Never Heard of Sepsis? It's Common, Dangerous and a Threat to Your HeartModerna Says Its COVID Vaccine Works Well in Children Aged 6 to 11COVID Vaccination Does Not Raise Odds of Miscarriage: StudyVaccinated People Less Likely to Die of Any Cause in Months After Shots: CDCRecovering COVID Patients Often Face Long-Term 'Brain Fog'COVID Pandemic May Have Driven a Flu Strain Into ExtinctionThe No. 1 Cause of Halloween Injuries: Carving the PumpkinPfizer Vaccine Prevents 91% of Symptomatic COVID in Young Children: FDAPfizer Says Lower Dose of Its COVID Vaccine Protects Younger ChildrenDeadly Liver Disease Tied to Obesity Is on the RiseCDC Signs Off on Moderna, J&J Boosters, Backs Mix n' Match ShotsMoving Monoclonal Antibody Treatments for COVID From Hospital to HomeConfusion, Seizures: People Hospitalized After Taking Veterinary Drug for COVIDMandates, Not Recommendations, Work Best to Get Folks Vaccinated: StudyPfizer Vaccine Booster Restores Nearly Full Protection, Company SaysTen Years On, Gene Therapy Still Beating Most Cases of 'Bubble Boy' Immune DiseaseSex of Fetus May Matter When COVID Strikes in PregnancyVaccines Cut Odds for Death From COVID Delta Variant by 90%U.S. Has Shared 200 Million Shots With Other CountriesSalmonella Outbreak in 37 States Linked to Imported OnionsFDA Approves Moderna, J&J Booster Shots, Backs Mix n' Match VaccinesWhite House Announces COVID Vaccination Plan for Young KidsEven With Mild COVID, Obesity May Mean Worse SymptomsNew Device Might Spot 'Lazy Eye' in Kids EarlierA High-Tech Pointer to Pollutants That Trigger Asthma in KidsFlu Cases Already Up 23% This Season: WalgreensDoctors Report That Kidney Grown in Pig Worked in a HumanHeartburn Meds Might Be Good for Your GumsOne Big Factor for Survival After Spinal Cord Injury: ResilienceDying Young From Heart Disease: Where You Live in the U.S. MattersFDA Expected to Allow Mix n' Match COVID VaccinesPowell's COVID Death Despite Vaccination Shows Danger to Those With Weakened Immune SystemsAHA News: Your Next Doctor's Prescription Might Be to Spend Time in NatureOut-of-Pocket Medical Bills for COVID-19 May Average $3,800 in 2021: StudyLegionnaires' Disease Outbreak Hits Long Island, N.Y.State Lotteries Didn't Help Boost Vaccination RatesFDA Panel Recommends Approval of Johnson & Johnson Booster ShotHeart Defibs in Schools Are Saving Staff Lives: StudyHorseback Riding Carries Big Risk for Serious Injury: StudyTwo-Thirds of Parents of Kids Ages 5-11 Plan to Get Them Vaccinated Against COVID: Poll
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Men's Health
Women's Health

CDC Endorses Booster Shots for Millions of Americans

HealthDay News
by By Cara Murez and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
Updated: Sep 24th 2021

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Sept. 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended booster shots of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for millions of older and high-risk Americans, kicking off a new chapter in the national effort to protect the vulnerable from severe disease.

First, an expert CDC advisory panel called for COVID-19 booster shots for those over 65, nursing home residents and other Americans who are at high risk because of underlying health conditions. Those recommendations came just one day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized boosters for several vulnerable groups at least six months after getting a second shot.

Hours after the panel made its recommendations, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky approved the panel's recommendations but added one more critical category to the mix: Americans who are vulnerable to COVID-19 because of their occupations. This includes teachers, health care workers and grocery store employees.

Walensky's reasoning for her decision? The CDC panel's recommendations did not match up exactly with the FDA's broader authorization.

"At CDC, we are tasked with analyzing complex, often imperfect data to make concrete recommendations that optimize health," Walensky said in a statement released early Friday morning. "In a pandemic, even with uncertainty, we must take actions that we anticipate will do the greatest good.

"I believe we can best serve the nation's public health needs by providing booster doses for the elderly, those in long-term care facilities, people with underlying medical conditions, and for adults at high risk of disease from occupational and institutional exposures to COVID-19. This aligns with the FDA's booster authorization and makes these groups eligible for a booster shot," Walensky added.

Although the CDC's vaccine advisory panel only looked at the Pfizer vaccine, the CDC "will address, with the same sense of urgency, recommendations for the Moderna and J&J vaccines as soon as those data are available," Walensky noted.

The CDC panel, in a 13 to 2 vote, did endorse a third dose for people aged 50 to 64 who would be at risk for severe COVID-19 because of medical conditions, The New York Times reported.

"I am surprised that Dr. Walensky overturned one of the four [CDC panel] votes today, and I believe others will be as well," Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, an infectious disease expert at Stanford and the American Academy of Pediatrics liaison to the panel, told the Times.

But the CDC panel's vote on boosters for occupational risk "was close," Maldonado noted. The panel voted 9 to 6 against including the category, the Times reported.

"This [recommendation] addresses not only waning immunity, but those at high risk of exposure," she added.

After a long discussion, the CDC advisers also decided to allow those aged 18 to 49 who have underlying medical conditions to choose to get a booster based on their own benefits and risks, the Times reported. Certain people with weakened immune systems, including cancer patients and transplant recipients, were already authorized to get booster shots.

In a statement released on Wednesday, American Medical Association President Dr. Gerald Harmon praised the CDC panel for its "thoughtful deliberations and recommendations." Still, with hospitalization rates 10 to 22 times higher among the unvaccinated than among the vaccinated, "our top priority should remain reaching those individuals who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19," he added.

Even with Thursday's approvals, there still is no booster option for people who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots.

The CDC advisers expressed their concerns during their deliberations.

"I just don't understand how, later this afternoon, we can say to people 65 and older, 'You're at risk for severe illness and death, but only half of you can protect yourselves right now,'" Dr. Sarah Long, of Drexel University in Pennsylvania, told the Associated Press.

Moderna has applied for authorization of a booster carrying half the dosage given in the first two shots. Authorization could happen in a few days or weeks, the Times reported.

CDC data presented at the meeting showed that the vaccines still offer strong protection for all ages, with a slight drop in the country's oldest adults. But immunity against milder infection appears to be waning months after people's initial vaccination, the AP reported.

For most people, if you're not in a group recommended for a booster, "it's really because we think you're well-protected," said Dr. Matthew Daley, of Kaiser Permanente Colorado, according to the AP. "This isn't about who deserves a booster, but who needs a booster."

During the Thursday meeting, the CDC advisors discussed whether the booster shot debate is detracting from the need to vaccinate the unvaccinated, the AP reported. Only 55% of America's total population are fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We can give boosters to people, but that's not really the answer to this pandemic," Dr. Helen Keipp Talbot, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., told the AP. "Hospitals are full because people are not vaccinated. We are declining care to people who deserve care because we are full of unvaccinated COVID-positive patients."

More information

The World Health Organization has more on COVID-19.

SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Sept. 24, 2021; American Medical Association, news release, Sept. 23, 2021; The New York Times, Washington Post; Associated Press