CDC Director Rochelle Walensky overruled her own agency’s advisory panel in a rare move late Thursday and added a recommendation for boosters for people at risk because of their jobs.
Her decision came after the agency’s panel said it should only be for Americans aged 65 and older and those with underlying conditions.
Walensky disagreed and put that recommendation back in, noting that such a move aligns with an FDA booster authorization decision earlier this week.
The category she included covers people who live in institutional settings that increase their risk of exposure, such as prisons or homeless shelters, as well as health care workers, teachers and grocery store employees.
The members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously to give the shot to people aged 65 and older and long-term care facility residents and 13-2 for Americans between ages 50 and 64 with underlying medical conditions.
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Boosters were also recommended for those aged 18 to 49 with pre-existing conditions, but the vote was much closer with the recommendation passing 9-6.
However, the committee voted against recommended use for those are at risk due to an ‘occupational or institutional setting’ including healthcare workers, grocery store employees, teachers and grocery store staffers, as well as those in prisons or homeless shelters.