CDC Sides With FDA and Recommends Certain Adults and Frontline Workers Get COVID-19 Booster Dose

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Currents News Staff

The FDA and a CDC advisory panel are split over boosters.

“This is the sharpest disagreement that I’ve seen in modern history between the two agencies,” said former FDA Commissioner and Pfizer Board Member Dr. Scott Gottlieb.

On Wednesday, Sept. 22, the FDA gave emergency use authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster for people 65 and up, those at high risk of severe disease and people at risk because of their jobs.

On Thursday, Sept. 23, CDC vaccine advisers met to talk about how to implement the FDA’s authorization. They were unanimous in recommending boosters for people 65 and up and voted easily on boosters for long-term care facility residents and certain people with underlying conditions.

As for boosters for people at risk because of their work, after a long debate, they voted against it. By Friday, Sept. 24, an early morning announcement was that the CDC director sided with the FDA on all points including recommending boosters for people at risk of getting COVID-19 because of their jobs.

The former FDA commissioner says this kind of back and forth over boosters could have been prevented.

“Perhaps we should have brought these two agencies together and reimagined the different kind of process where they work together from the outset to come up with unified recommendations,” said Dr. Gottlieb, “and I think as we go forward and plan differently for a pandemic, we might think differently about how we deploy a vaccine in the setting of a public health emergency like this.”