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CDC’s Advisory Committee Recommends Another Round of Covid-19 Shots for Seniors

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The agency updated its recommendations after a vote by the ACIP advisory committee.

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The Covid-19 shot isn’t done yet.

The CDC is recommending that people over the age of 65 should get another injection of the COVID-19 vaccine. The recommendation comes after the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted on the matter, CNN reports.1 The committee voted 11 yes, one no, and one member abstained.

According to the new recommendation, anyone over the age of 65 should get the latest version of any of the available COVID vaccines if it has been at least four months since their previous shot.

According to CNN, CDC epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Link-Gelles said during a meeting with ACIP advisors, “[The vaccine] doesn’t protect absolutely,” she said. “What the vaccines are doing now is providing an incremental benefit or an extra benefit beyond whatever benefit someone has remaining from their past infection or past vaccination, and we know that protection from past vaccination and past infection wanes. That’s important for all people in the United States but especially important for those that are the highest risk.”

Older people tend to have weaker immune systems, and immunity from diseases is likely to fade at a faster rate for them. While the CDC states that 98% of the US population still has some immunity to COVID, either from vaccines, infections, or both, the US’ older population is still at risk due to the levels of reported infections.

CNN reports that as of mid-February, there are still about 2,000 deaths from COVID per week across the country.

The CDC website states that the latest vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Novavax can help protect against serious illness from COVID.2 Anyone over the age of 5 who has received the latest dose of any of the listed vaccines is considered up to date (although people over 65 are still recommended to get another dose). It also recommends that everyone over the age of 5 should be vaccinated against the illness and that people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may need additional doses of the vaccine.

Sources

  1. Christensen, Jen. CDC recommends seniors get another Covid-19 shot. CNN. February 28, 2024. Accessed February 29, 2024. https://www.cnn.com/2024/02/28/health/cdc-covid-vaccine-acip/index.html
  2. Stay Up to Date With COVID-19 Vaccines. CDC. February 28, 2024. Accessed February 29, 2024. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html
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