COVID-19 Booster Shots to Begin Soon for Certain Adults After CDC Recommendation

Headline Roundup September 23rd, 2021

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot Thursday for people ages 65 and older, as well as adults at high risk of severe COVID-19. Walensky's nod followed a similar recommendation from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel; the panel's 15 advisers unanimously supported the shots for ages 65+, and voted 13-2 to endorse giving Pfizer's booster to people ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions. Advisers voted 9-6 against endorsing the booster for ages 18-49, with the majority citing concerns about the lack of evidence supporting the recommendation. But Walensky disagreed, and officially recommended the shot for high-risk workers in that age group. Tens of million Americans may be eligible for the shots; roughly 55% of Americans are fully vaccinated.

Coverage on all sides highlighted how the recommendations are a much narrower version of the Biden administration's original plan to get booster shots to anyone who wanted them by Sept. 20. Some reports from left-rated sources cast doubt on the extra shots' ability to curb the pandemic, and highlighted calls for the U.S. to focus on distributing vaccines to underdeveloped countries before offering booster shots to all Americans. Some coverage from right-rated outlets highlighted the panel's emphasis on the lack of evidence for giving booster shots to people ages 18-49, and framed Walensky's decision to disagree with the CDC panel as unusual and misinformed. Updated 9/24/21 at 8:28 a.m. ET with Walensky's recommendation.

From the Left

Following days of lengthy debate among vaccine experts, booster shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine can now be officially administered to some adults in the United States.

Early Friday morning, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky diverged from the agency's independent vaccine advisers to recommend boosters for a broader group of people -- those ages 18 to 64 who are at increased risk of Covid-19 because of their workplaces or institutional settings -- in addition to older adults, long-term care facility residents and some people...

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From the Right

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) overrode its vaccine advisory panel early Friday and said people as young as 18 who have certain jobs or living situations may get a COVID-19 vaccine booster.

The recommendation means millions of more Americans may get a booster shot, even though experts during a meeting said there was not enough data to support boosters for many younger people.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, a Biden nominee, decided to reject the expert panel’s guidance and allow anybody between the ages of 18 and 64...

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From the Center

A key panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people 65 years old and older, as well as those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

Driving the news: But in an unusual move, CDC director Rochelle Walensky late Thursday overruled part of the advisory committee's decision and said that workers in high-risk jobs should also be eligible for booster shots.

Why it matters: The approval was a near-final step in making the booster shots available to tens of millions of Americans,...

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