Top Questions Answered About COVID Boosters for Your Patients

 | Post date: 2021/09/26 | 

Confusion continues to circulate in the wake of decisions on booster doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, all announced within 1 week. Many people — including those now eligible and those who officially have to wait for their shot at a third dose — have questions.

Multiple agencies are involved in the booster decisions, and they have put out multiple — and sometimes conflicting — messages about booster doses, leaving more questions than answers for many people.

On September 22, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a booster dose of the Pfizer mRNA COVID vaccine for those 65 and older and those at high risk for severe illness from the coronavirus, including essential workers whose jobs increase their risk for infection — such as frontline healthcare workers.

Early this morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, overruled advice from the agency's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to recommend boosters for essential workers such as those working on the frontlines during the pandemic.

As it stands now, the CDC recommends that the following groups should get a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine:

  • People aged 65 years and older

  • People aged 18 years and older in long-term care settings

  • People aged 50 - 64 years with underlying medical conditions

The CDC also recommends that the following groups may receive a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine, based on their individual benefits and risks:

  • People aged 18 - 49 years with underlying medical conditions

  • People aged 18 - 64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting

The CDC currently considers the following groups at increased risk for COVID-19:

  • First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)

  • Education staff (teachers, support staff, day care workers)

  • Food and agriculture workers

  • Manufacturing workers

  • Corrections workers

  • US postal service workers

  • Public transit workers

  • Grocery store workers

Healthcare professionals, among the most trusted sources of COVID-19 information, are likely to encounter a number of patients wondering how all this will work.


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