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Reaction to Pfizer COVID Booster Recommendations


 

AMA Statement on CDC Director Recommendation for Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose in Health Care Professionals

The following statement is attributable to:
Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., President, American Medical Association

"We applaud and fully support the leadership shown by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., in permitting a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adults at risk of occupational or environmental exposure, particularly for health care professionals. Given that we are in the midst of a global pandemic that continues to cause widespread illness and death, we must do everything we can to protect our frontline health care professionals. We believe this recommendation is a critical step to preserve our nation's health care capacity and prevent illness among those who have continued to put their own health and safety at risk to care for patients."


AMA Statement on ACIP Interim Recommendation for Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose

The following statement is attributable to:
Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., President, American Medical Association

"We commend the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for their thoughtful deliberations and recommendations supporting a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, at least six months after the primary series, in individuals 65 years of age and older, long-term care facility residents, and in persons aged 50 - 64 with underlying medical conditions. The ACIP also recommended a booster dose based on individual risk-benefit analysis for those aged 18 - 49 with underlying medical conditions.

"The latest data shows a decline in vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infection in individuals 65 years of age and older, particularly during the Delta wave. The good news is data also shows that a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, given six months after the primary series, increases the immune response in this population. Today's recommendation will help provide those individuals for whom the benefits of boosters outweigh the risks with further protection against COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

"The scientific evidence is clear that the vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and remain effective in preventing hospitalization and severe disease. With hospitalization rates 10 to 22 times higher in the unvaccinated compared to the vaccinated, our top priority should remain reaching those individuals who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19. We continue to strongly urge everyone who has not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 and is eligible, including pregnant people, to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones from severe complications, hospitalization, and death.

"Following the deliberations of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee and the action taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday to authorize Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine boosters, ACIP's recommendation will allow physicians and other vaccine providers to offer a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine to those patients who need it.

"The ACIP did not recommend booster doses for adults at risk of occupational or environmental exposure, such as health care personnel, teachers, and other essential workers. We await further reviews of the evidence on booster doses in this population, which we believe could help preserve our nation's health care capacity so we can continue providing care to our patients. We also acknowledge that those who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are awaiting guidance on booster doses.

"Anyone with questions about the vaccines should speak with their physician and review trusted resources, including getvaccineanswers.org. We will continue to support measures to ensure widespread vaccination among our communities and other evidence-based public health measures, such as physical distancing and wearing face masks, to help protect those not yet eligible for vaccination."


AHCA/NCAL Applauds CDC, FDA for Approving a Pfizer Booster Shot for Long Term Care Residents, Workers

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released the following statement in response to the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for certain groups of individuals, including residents and health care workers in long term care.

The following statement is attributable to Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer of AHCA/NCAL:

"On behalf of the long term care industry, we appreciate the FDA and CDC for recognizing the threat of waning COVID-19 immunity and high-risk exposure. The FDA and CDC's review of the data reiterates how incredibly effective and safe the COVID-19 vaccines are and how the booster shot will help continue to keep our residents and staff safe. This decision is another layer of protection that we need to fight this virus that uniquely targets our vulnerable long term care population.

"Long term care facilities stand ready to help facilitate booster shots to those residents and staff who received the Pfizer vaccine earlier this year. Virtually all nursing homes and some assisted living communities already have steady access to COVID-19 vaccines through a long term care pharmacy, and we anticipate the booster shot process will be fairly straightforward and the vaccines will be available quickly for these providers.

"For those assisted living communities and other senior living settings that may not have a relationship with a long term care pharmacy, we appreciate the federal government helping many of these providers connect with a specific local pharmacy or vaccine provider. We also call on state governments to help coordinate distribution and administration of booster shots to these senior living settings.

"Long term care facilities are diverse, so a one-size-fits-all approach will not work for a booster shot rollout. We must consider things like the size and location of the facility, the acuity of the residents, the number of new admissions, and more. AHCA/NCAL continues to engage with public health officials to help advise and streamline the process for administering booster shots considering these factors.

"We also recognize that we must continue to increase vaccination rates, especially among our long term care workers. These efforts have never waned, and we continue to make progress every day. The data also shows that cases in nursing homes will persist when community transmission is high. Therefore, we need a collective approach to improve vaccine confidence and uptake in every community."

 
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