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CDC shortens waiting period for Pfizer Covid boosters to 5 months

UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 4: Hattie Pierce, 75, receives a Pfizer covid-19 vaccine booster shot from Dr. Tiffany Taliaferro at the Safeway on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Monday, October 4, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

People who received the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid vaccine can now get a booster shot five months after their second dose, a month sooner than the federal government’s previous guidance.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday updated its recommended waiting period for people who completed their primary Covid-19 vaccination series with Pfizer’s shots.

People who received the Moderna vaccine must still wait at least six months after their second dose before getting a booster, while people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine must wait at least two months after their first shot before getting a booster.

The CDC also now recommends that children ages 5 to 11 who have moderate or severely compromised immune systems receive a third shot as part of their primary vaccination series 28 days after their second dose. Currently, Pfizer is the only recommended and authorized vaccine for kids in that age group.

The CDC’s new recommendations come a day after the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer boosters at 5 months and third shots for kids 5 to 11 with compromised immune systems.

“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,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

“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,” Walensky said.

The CDC’s vaccine advisory committee has scheduled a meeting Wednesday to review the FDA’s recommendation to distribute boosters to all adolescents aged 12 to 15.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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