* Press release…
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation for a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations and a booster dose for those in high risk occupational and institutional settings.
CDC recommends the following groups should receive boosters:
• people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a boostershot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
• people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
Additionally, CDC recommends the following groups may be considered for boosters.
• people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
• people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
“While the vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing severe illnesses, hospitalization, death, as we learn more about COVID-19 and the science evolves, so too must our recommendations,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Scientists and medical experts continue to monitor vaccines for waning immunity and how well the vaccines protect against new variants, and across which age groups and risk factors. The information reviewed by the FDA shows that there is clear evidence of the benefit of booster doses at this time.”
IDPH recommends vaccine providers prioritize those at highest risk of severe illness among the eligible booster population.
Many of the people who are now eligible to receive a booster shot received their initial vaccine early in the rollout and will benefit from additional protection. The Delta variant continues to be the predominate virus circulating and with cases of COVID-19 increasing significantly across the United States, a booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease.
Individuals may contact their health care provider or visit www.vaccines.gov to find a nearby location to receive a booster dose.
Right now, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized for booster doses in recommended populations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech, marketed as Comirnaty, for those ages 16 years and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccines are the same vaccine.
Data is expected to be submitted soon to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the safety and efficacy of booster doses for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for further recommendations on booster doses.