FDA only recommends 65 and older, high-risk individuals to get booster shots

Published 11:18 am Monday, September 20, 2021

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel of advisers recommended Pfizer booster shots to those 65 and older or at high risk to experience severe COVID-19 symptoms such as the immunocompromised.

The panel extended the recommendation to healthcare workers or others who are at high-risk to contract COVID-19 due to their occupation. Booster shots were not recommended for people 16 years old and older.

The booster shot would be administered six months after the first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The MSDH reported 2,687 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 56 deaths, and 106 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The state has a total of 476,100 cases and 9,270 deaths. Additionally, 1,265,547 persons have been fully vaccinated.

Lafayette County has gained 32 new COVID-19 cases and one death. There have been no new reports of LTC facility outbreaks and LTC facility deaths. The county’s has a total of 8,110 cases, 137 deaths and 198 LTC facility outbreaks.

Mississippi State Medical Association conducted a live discussion with the Mississippi State Department of Health regarding the panel’s recommendation.

“It’s not surprising,” said State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, M.D., in regards to their recommendation. “I think the data is very strong for those two groups of folks if you look at what’s going on …”

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will have to give their take before these recommendations are put into practice, according to State Epidemiologist Paul Byers, M.D.

Dobbs said when booster doses do begin to role out, the state will need doctors’ offices and pharmacies to keep up the good work.

The preliminary data shows 30% of COVID-19 vaccine doses are administered in pharmacies and 30% in primary care clinics, according Byers. Majority of doses are given outside of the MSDH offices.