Many Alaskans have already received newly approved vaccine booster
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Food and Drug Administration approved the new booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday for Americans 50 and older, meaning certain Alaskans can get the shot.
Following the FDA’s authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the additional booster for certain people, including those over 50 and some immunocompromised people.
“The CDC authorized additional doses, or booster doses, in individuals 50 and older and also immunocompromised individuals 12 and older,” said Lisa Rabinowitz, a staff physician for the Division of Public Health, during a virtual meeting Wednesday.
Even though it’s only been a day, Rabinowitz said many boosters have been given out already across Alaska and that the state has enough supplies for the new rollout.
“What we’re hearing from the federal government is we have great supplies of vaccinations and enough definitely to cover through this booster initiative,” Rabinowitz said. “So to cover the second boosters as well as the possibility of pediatric vaccines within the next month or so.”
At Wednesday’s virtual meeting, the question was raised over whether or not it would be beneficial to wait until the fall for a more “focused” vaccine for new variants.
Rabinowitz said there are a number of factors to consider for whether eligible Alaskans should get an additional booster dose.
“Your risk of severe disease becomes important, your age because we know in advancing age you do have higher risks, and then the other factors to consider (are) when was your last booster?” Rabinowitz said. “If it’s been 6 months, or has it been 4 months, those are different scenarios, and also the timing if you did have an infection.”
Next week there will be a meeting between the FDA, CDC, and an advisory panel to look at the future of the boosters in the fall and moving forward on COVID-19 vaccinations.
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