The CDC Signs Off on Second COVID-19 Shot for People 50+

On Tuesday, March 29th, the CDC and other U.S. regulators approved and authorized a second COVID-19 booster shot for individuals 50 years old and older, providing more protection for individuals more vulnerable. Individuals over the age of 50 can now receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, released a statement this Tuesday stating “Boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster four months after their prior booster dose to increase their protection further.”

Although the CDC has only authorized and approved the second booster shot for individuals over the age of 50, the FDA has already authorized the fourth shot, or a second booster, for immunocompromised people regardless of age. 

The news of the authorization of additional booster shots comes after the spread of the new omicron subvariant, BA.2. which is becoming extremely contagious and has already been responsible for over 55 percent of the new cases in the country, according to the CDC. The urgency of getting people to receive an additional booster shot also follows data from the CDC that essentially none of the current COVID-19 vaccines are strong enough to combat the omicron strains like they were fighting previous variants and strains. 

Despite the rapid spread of BA.2, officials fear that they may have a hard time getting people to get their second booster shot because hospitalizations and deaths remain low. The reduction of fear towards COVID-19 and contracting it has produced a lack of urgency when receiving additional shots.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky also adds, “the second booster shot is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19.”

Although the FDA and the CDC approved the authorization of a second booster shot, news of a third booster shot is not far on the horizon. The FDA is said to be holding a public meeting to discuss whether or not the rollout of a fourth shot needs to happen during the fall season to combat a potential rise in cases in the winter months.


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