DENVER (KDVR) — Booster shots are one step away from being approved for people over 65 and those at high risk of severe COVID. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee voted Thursday to recommend a single dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for people in those groups.
After the CDC’s director approves their recommendations, boosters can start being administered for providers waiting on approval. Here in Colorado, some are not waiting on the federal approval.
“You know the focus has been I’m not here to question you. I’m here to help provide health care for you. So if you came in saying you felt like you needed the shot, we are helping give you the shot,” Chief Medical Officer at National Jewish Health Dr. Carrie Horn said.
On the other hand, many health providers, including the state-run sites unveiled earlier this week, are holding off on those for now. Some health system leaders say their waiting on full clearance.
“There are actually places around the city that are giving boosters prematurely. The problem with that if the FDA or the CDC find counterindication for doing that, in other words if there are unintended side effects or things of that nature then those individuals have acted prematurely,” Dr. Reginald Washington, Presbyterian/ St. Luke’s Medical Center, chief medical officer said.
The Food and Drug Administration was clear about the recommendation for people 65 and up but also recommended it for people who are at high risk for severe disease, leaving room for clarification.
“You know anyone who is at risk of having severe disease meaning hospitalization or death. Those people they are really looking at are if you have diabetes, if you have known heart disease, underlying lung disease, medications that can compress your immune system are still included, and obesity is one as well,” Horn said.
Originally, the FDA also recommend the extra dosage for people who work in high-risk settings but late Thursday afternoon, the CDC advisers did vote to not include those workers with high-risk jobs in the recommendation for approval.
If you are considering a booster shot, it’s a good idea to call your provider ahead of time to make sure they will give you a shot. The approval process that’s underway is only for Pfizer doses right now.