SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been approved for emergency use authorization by the FDA, for specific high-risk populations.
Booster shots are authorized for people over the age of 65, people who have a high risk of severe COVID-19 infection- regardless of age, and people whose jobs put them at risk for infection. Examples of those include health care workers, grocery store workers, teachers, and daycare staff.
Since vaccines became available, senior citizens have made up fewer and fewer of overall COVID-19 cases, however the disease is particularly deadly in this age group. The average age of COVID-19 deaths in Massachusetts remains at 73 years old.
The intent of the booster shots is to keep more people out of the hospital, further aiding frontline workers, while protecting them from infection.
The CDC has still to approve the FDA’s latest decision before the boosters can be rolled out. An advisory committee is scheduled to meet later Thursday to discuss the issue. If the CDC approves, booster doses could start rolling out to newly-eligible people later this week.
The third booster shot is recommended six months after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Health officials are still considering booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.