Delaware Division of Public Health: Message to Medical Providers After FDA Committee Vote on Boosters
Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) vaccine advisory committee met to discuss authorizing booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for the general public. The committee voted unanimously to recommend expanding the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow booster doses of the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine for individuals age 65 and older, and individuals at high risk of severe COVID-19 starting six months or more after they received their second dose. Also included in the recommended EUA expansion are health care workers and others at high risk for occupational exposure. This announcement does not apply to individuals who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines initially, due to limited available data to support an expansion of the use of those vaccines. As in the past, the FDA is expected to formalize and quickly sign off on the committee’s recommendation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) still needs to meet to provide final recommendations on specific criteria such as what constitutes high risk of severe COVID-19. ACIP is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, September 22. The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) will await those findings before moving forward with the Pfizer boosters for qualifying individuals and encourages providers to do the same.
Once approved by ACIP, vaccine providers and the public will receive further information from DPH about who should receive a booster most immediately. Qualifying individuals who previously received two doses of Pfizer, to get a booster dose at a participating medical provider, pharmacy, FQHC, or DPH Standing Vaccine clinic at the Blue Hen Corporate Center, Georgetown Plaza, Canby Park in Wilmington, or University Plaza in Newark.
As a reminder, Delawareans who have certain immunocompromising conditions including organ or stem cell transplants, are undergoing treatment for HIV or cancer, or who are taking medication that suppresses the immune system, are currently eligible to receive a third dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, if they completed their second dose at least 28 days prior. DPH is also encouraging providers to consider whether those who reside in long-term care facilities and seniors, especially those who are over age 85, should receive a third dose at this time. For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination rollout in Delaware, visit de.gov/getmyvaccine or direct questions to VaccinePlanning@delaware.gov.