March 30, 2022

As second COVID-19 booster dose is approved, senior living calls for help

McKnight Senior Living

As public health officials brace for a potential surge in coronavirus cases due to the BA.2 variant, the federal government on Tuesday approved a second COVID-19 booster dose for higher-risk individuals.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended emergency use authorizations to allow a second booster dose of the Pfizer–BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to be administered to adults aged 50 or more years or to immunocompromised individuals The second booster should be given at least four months after the initial booster dose of any coronavirus vaccine, the agency said.

Immunocompromised people must be at least 12 years old to receive a second Pfizer booster and at least 18 to receive a second Moderna booster.

Following the FDA action, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was updating its recommendations to allow those aged 50 or more years and certain immunocompromised individuals who received an initial booster dose at least four months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19. Separately and in addition, based on newly published data, the agency said, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least four months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

“Boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster four months after their prior dose to increase their protection further,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., MPH, said in a statement. “This 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, as they are the most likely to benefit from receiving an additional booster dose at this time. CDC, in collaboration with FDA and our public health partners, will continue to evaluate the need for additional booster doses for all Americans.”

Call for help

The booster news comes as senior living advocates have been seeking financial relief and new supplies of COVID-19 tests and booster shots in anticipation of federal measures to respond to the ongoing pandemic.

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