AUGUSTA, Maine — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans, opening a major new phase in the U.S vaccination drive against COVID-19.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on a series of recommendations from a panel of advisers late Thursday.
The 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. The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.
U.S. regulators will decide at a later date on boosters for people who have received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
On Friday, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) Director Dr. Nirav Shah and Maine Department of Health and Human Services (Maine DHHS) Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew released the following joint statement saying Maine is well-positioned to administer booster doses:
“In anticipation of the updated emergency use authorization granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Maine has ensured an ample supply of Pfizer vaccine and that a system is in place to provide booster doses in accordance with the newly released federal guidance. Boosters provide an added layer of protection for individuals at higher risk from COVID-19, and we encourage those eligible for a booster dose to find a convenient time to get their shot. And while boosters are important, our primary focus remains getting shots into the arms of unvaccinated people, who represent the majority of new COVID-19 cases in Maine today, including those who are hospitalized. We urge individuals who have not yet received their first dose to arrange to do so. COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, and widely available throughout Maine.”
Shah also posted a Twitter thread Friday with information on what people should know about boosters.