Tuesday, January 04, 2022

CDC Recommends Pfizer Booster After 5 Months, Additional Dose For Certain Immunocompromised Children


We've seen other countries reduce the time interval between receipt of the 2nd mRNA vaccine and a booster to as little as 3 months in the UK  (see JCVI advice on COVID-19 booster vaccines) and 4.5 months in Denmark (see Denmark Reduces Time Between 2nd COVID Shot And Booster), but until today it has remained at 6 months in the United States.

While the change currently only involves the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, the CDC has signed off on a reduction to 5 months.  The CDC has also recommended that moderately or severely immunocompromised 5–11-year-olds receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second shot of the Pfizer Biontech vaccine.

These endorsements follow a series of recommendations announced by the FDA yesterday (see Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Takes Multiple Actions to Expand Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine).  

The CDC's ACIP (Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices)  will meet this week to discuss other recommendations from the FDA.

CDC Recommends Pfizer Booster at 5 Months, Additional Primary Dose for Certain Immunocompromised Children
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Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Today, CDC is updating our recommendation for when many people can receive a booster shot, shortening the interval from 6 months to 5 months for people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. This means that people can now receive an mRNA booster shot 5 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. The booster interval recommendation for people who received the J&J vaccine (2 months) or the Moderna vaccine (6 months), has not changed.

Additionally, consistent with our prior recommendation for adults, CDC is recommending that moderately or severely immunocompromised 5–11-year-olds receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second shot. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children aged 5-11.

The following is attributable to CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky:

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to update our recommendations to ensure the best possible protection for the American people. Following the FDA’s authorizations, today’s recommendations ensure people are able to get a boost of protection in the face of Omicron and increasing cases across the country, and ensure that the most vulnerable children can get an additional dose to optimize protection against COVID-19. If you or your children are eligible for a third dose or a booster, please go out and get one as soon as you can. Additionally, FDA took action this week to authorize boosters for 12-15 year olds – and I look forward to ACIP meeting on Wednesday to discuss this issue.