CDC advises booster shots for some. Are they necessary, and for whom?

Epidemiologist Dr. Stephanie Silvera weighs in

COVID-19 booster shots have the green light. On Thursday, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel voted unanimously to recommend a booster dose of the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine for people age 65 and up, as well as for long-term care residents and, in a separate vote, adults with underlying medical conditions, advising the extra shots to be given six months after the initial two-dose immunization. It follows this week’s authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, all in an effort to curb the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus.

A CDC analysis has shown that boosters are far more beneficial to older Americans than younger age groups. The CDC’s sign-off means the U.S. can begin widely administering boosters. Those shots will be available at pharmacies and even some doctor’s offices.

Federal health officials have been split for weeks over whether the shots are necessary, when they should be given and who would be eligible. For the latest, we turn to Montclair State University epidemiologist Dr. Stephanie Silvera, who says it is up to state officials to make the final call on whom pharmacies are authorized to administer booster shots to.

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