In August, Biden told Americans the general public would be eligible for booster shots of both two-shot vaccines by 20 September. In a high-profile address he said, “Just remember, as a simple rule: eight months after your second shot, get a booster shot.”
However, rules around boosters have proved far from simple. While leaders at the FDA and CDC agreed with Biden’s plan, the independent panels which help guide decision-making at each agency had not looked at the data. When they did, experts significantly winnowed down who they believed should be eligible for a third dose.
The FDA approved booster doses for recipients of the Pfizer vaccine six months after their second dose, but only for those aged 65 years and older or those between 18 and 65 who had a high chance of developing severe Covid-19 or being exposed at work.
The CDC said who “should” and who “may” get a booster shot. Joe Biden According to that guidance, people older than 65, aged 50 to 64 with underlying health conditions or between 18 and 65 and in long-term care “should” receive a booster.
Younger people who risk exposure at work and have underlying health conditions “may” get a booster.
People with compromised immune systems should receive a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA and CDC recommended a third dose for this group with relatively little fanfare.
The FDA and CDC are expected to separately review the evidence for a booster dose of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots.
As Biden received his third dose, he implied eligibility may expand in the future.