Not enough data to recommend COVID-19 booster shots yet, CDC panel says

Currently, there's not enough data to recommend COVID-19 booster shots for the general population, the CDC's vaccine safety group said during a June 23 meeting

However, research has indicated there may be more of an immediate need for booster shots among those most at risk of severe disease, such as immunocompromised people, long-term care facility residents and healthcare workers, CNBC reports. 

"Boosters may be required for a broad population. However, it could also be that the need for boosters may only be demonstrated in some populations," said Sarah Oliver, MD, co-lead of the agency's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and a medical epidemiologist with the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

The committee advised the CDC to recommend booster shots only "after evidence of declining protection," or if a variant that significantly reduced vaccine effectiveness emerged, according to CNBC's report. Currently, there's no evidence of declining protection, experts said. 

Other panel members said evidence of more breakthrough infections would lead them to support a recommendation for booster shots among the general population. 

"I think the only thing we can do at this moment is, if we start to see an uptick in reinfection in people or new infections in people who have been vaccinated, that's our clue that we need to move quickly," said Sharon Frey, MD, a member of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and clinical director of the center for vaccine development at St. Louis University Medical School.


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