Strengthening its recommendation 10 days after first opening up the booster doses to people over 18, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky urged on Monday all US adults to get a Covid-19 booster shot.
The advice comes in light of the emerging Omicron variant that enticed the agency to upgrade its previous recommendation earlier this month when CDC pointed only to people aged 50 and older or people in long-term care as the target group.
Walensky stressed in her statement the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against Covid-19, which the Omicron variant further emphasizes, though the severity of disease and the potential reduction in vaccine efficacy it’s still unknown and is being studied.
The US Food and Drug Administration declined to comment on the new CDC recommendation.
Underlying that strong immunity will likely prevent serious illness, Walensky also pressed teens and children who haven’t yet gotten a jab to get one in a situation in which approximately 47 million adult Americans still have not been vaccinated.
Both FDA and CDC advisers opted to say young, healthy adults may get a booster due to the scant evidence of the need in that population when they previously expanded its emergency use authorizations for US Covid-19 vaccines.
Even the infectious disease specialist and former Covid-19 adviser to President Biden, Céline Gounder, who previously questioned the necessity for boosters in all adults, now said the strengthened CDC recommendation is warranted due to Omicron emergence to provide people some extra protection until scientists figure out if second-generation vaccines are needed.
Other scientists on the other hand, such as the pediatrics professor at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and member of FDA’s vaccine advisory committee Paul Offit, believe it’ll be more efficient to reach the unvaccinated people rather than pushing boosters for all.