September 29, 2021
Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, firstname.lastname@example.org, (412) 945-3242
Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) applauds the coordinated efforts of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to approve the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster. As the Delta variant continues to cause more breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals, it is clear that we need to ensure the protection of our most vulnerable populations.
On September 24, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky went beyond the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) and made the call to recommend the single-dose booster to frontline workers in addition to those groups recommended by ACIP. Walensky’s recommendations are in line with those of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), which voted to approve the EUA of the booster shot for individuals older than 65 years of age, individuals at high risk for severe disease, and those with institutional or occupational exposure to COVID-19.
“NCL has long advocated for increased access to the vaccine for frontline, essential workers and equitable distribution of the vaccine to populations hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Jeanette Contreras, NCL Director of Health Policy. “The single-dose booster shot is a necessary measure to ensure the safety of those most at risk, and to further mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.” The essential workers who received their Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines early in the pandemic are next in line for the booster shot, recommended at least six months after completion of the primary two-dose series.
“Consumers who were vaccinated with the Moderna or Janssen COVID-19 vaccine are on the edge of their seats,” said Contreras. “In some cases, consumers may want to get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot even if they’ve had one of the other vaccines. We want consumers to know that there is still not enough data for the FDA to approve mixing the vaccines.” The Administration has signaled that while recommendations for ‘mixing and matching’ vaccines will come later in October, they are working closely with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to get their booster shots approved in the coming days.
Consumers who completed the primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, branded as Comirnaty, now have ready access to the booster shot. Consumers must demonstrate they had their second dose of the vaccine at least 6 months ago and attest to being in the approved high-risk population groups. NCL stands behind the recommendations of the CDC and will continue to ensure that consumers have access to life-saving vaccines.
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