The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky approved most of the recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) late on September 23, 2021.
During a two-day meeting, the ACIP doctor-advisers said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents, and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems, reported NPR.
The third dose of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine would be given once they are at least six months past.
Dr. Walensky and the ACIP only authorized the Comirnaty vaccine, but not U.S. FDA Authorized Moderna's SpikeVax or Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for an extra booster.
"As CDC Director, it is my job to recognize where our actions can have the greatest impact," Walensky said in a statement late Thursday night.
"At CDC, we are tasked with analyzing complex, often imperfect data to make concrete recommendations that optimize health. In a pandemic, even with uncertainty, we must take actions that we anticipate will do the greatest good."
The ACIP committee reviewed various risks and benefits regarding a 3rd booster dose of the Comirnaty vaccine for specific populations during Sara Oliver, M.D., MSPH, presentation: 'Evidence to Recommendation Framework.'
The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices comprises medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of vaccines in the civilian population. Once they are approved or not by the CDC Director and Department of Health and Human Services, recommendations are published in the CDC's MMWR. The MMWR publication represents the official CDC recommendations for immunizations of the U.S. population.