CDC directory Walensky supports boosters for everyone over the age of 18: NPR

CDC directory Walensky supports boosters for everyone over the age of 18: NPR


CDC director Rochelle Walensky has given the go-ahead for the recommendation that booster recordings be available to everyone over the age of 18. An advisory committee to the CDC previously voted in favor of the recommendation.



AILSA CHANG, HOST:

This afternoon, a CDC vaccine advisory committee unanimously decided to recommend that booster syringes be made available to all individuals aged 18 and over. CDC director Rochelle Walensky has now given the recommendation the green light. Earlier in the day, the FDA expanded approvals for both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and approved booster vaccinations for all adults. Allison Aubrey from MediaFrolic is joining us now.

Hello Allison.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Hi everyone – nice to be here.

CHANG: Nice to have you. OK, so that’s a big change – isn’t it? – A few months ago, when boosters were only recommended for the elderly and only for those at risk. Can you just explain to us how it all turned out?

AUBREY: Yes, that’s a big change. I mean, a few months ago when advisers to the FDA and CDC were asked to weigh boosters, there wasn’t a lot of data, Ailsa, to show that they were needed. Now President Biden’s closest COVID advisers have been claiming all along that the US should be proactive, that we shouldn’t wait for the vaccine to wear off, that we should anticipate it. So the White House messages were a bit ahead of science, but now things have changed. There is data to show that boosters can be beneficial. And it is clear that in the elderly, who were vaccinated at the first, immunity has declined and a booster dose, as the name suggests, may increase protection.

CHANG: Okay. Now, when it comes to all adults, not just older adults, what is the new evidence that boosters are supported for each of them?

AUBREY: Well, some of the latest real world data is from England. In September the British government introduced a booster program aimed at people aged 50 and over. I have talked to Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke about a new analysis from the UK suggesting significantly increased protection against symptomatic COVID infection with a booster dose. Here he is.

ANTHONY FAUCI: What they showed is that if you look at the third dose in people whose protection is down to about 63%, you get it back up to at least 94%, which is really very impressive.

AUBREY: And what you want to see from a booster, he says. Now, in the US, the CDC has pointed to data from nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the country showing that the disease rate is significantly lower in people in these facilities who received the booster.

CHANG: Okay. So this is something for the slightly older people. But what about younger people between 20 and 30 who are relatively healthy? Do you really need a booster?

AUBREY: You know, there is definitely more at stake for older people. That is clear. This has been discussed a lot today, Ailsa, and suggested that the recommendation should be stronger for people 50 and older that they should get the booster. But younger people get breakthrough infections, and there is data to show that a third shot increases antibodies in young people and can be beneficial. Now remember that COVID cases are on the rise. We’re at around 88,000 cases a day. About 85% of counties in the United States currently have high or significant spread of the virus. Dr. So Fauci says that boosters make sense given the situation and the time of year.

FAUCI: So my recommendation would be, especially as we move into the winter months and the holiday season, when there are many gatherings indoors, I would recommend that if you are eligible for a boost, get a boost right away.

AUBREY: Because a booster can reduce your risk of infection, and of course if you don’t get infected you can’t pass it on to others.

CHANG: Absolutely. This is Allison Aubrey from MediaFrolic.

Thanks, Allison.

AUBREY: Thank you, Ailsa.

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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