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Drew: Are You Eligible for the Pfizer Booster Shot?

By Samuetta Hill Drew

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), last month, approved the booster shot for those who had been fully vaccinated with the two-shot series Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine. This third shot (booster) now approved and recommended by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is being provided in the United States.

The CDC records indicate almost nine million eligible fully vaccinated recipients have received the Pfizer booster over the past few weeks. The FDA scientists announced their findings for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine a few days ago. Next week’s safety article will review their approval and recommendations. This week’s article will finalize the series on the Pfizer-BioNTech booster. The paragraphs below detail those eligible recipients for the third booster shot according to the CDC.

Eligible recipients are older adults and 50–64-year-old individuals with medical conditions. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age and can also increase for adults of any age with underlying health conditions.

Long-term care facility residents aged 18 years and older are eligible. The booster shot is suggested since residents in long term-care settings live closely together in group settings and are often older adults with underlying medical conditions which places them at increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19.

Other eligible recipients are people aged 18-49 with underlying medical conditions based upon their individual benefits and risks. This recommendation may be amended in the future as more data become available. Consult your physician.

Employees and residents 18-64 years old who are at increased risk for exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting (e.g., health care, schools, correctional facilities, homeless shelters) may get the booster based on their individual benefits and risks. Since that risk can vary across settings and based upon how much COVID-19 is spreading in a community, people 18-64 years were included in the list of eligible people for the booster. This recommendation may be amended in the future as more data become available. Consult your physician.

Occupations considered at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission include front line essential workers and health care workers previously detailed by the CDC:

  • First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
  • Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Correction workers
  • U.S postal workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store workers

If you or someone you know falls in either of these categories, speak with them about the booster if they are fully vaccinated. It is essential that we Keep an Eye on Safety for our families, other loved ones and the greater community.