Marilyn Lurie, who suffers from frontotemporal dementia, is being monitored in the back yard of her home by elderly caregiver Olga Lopez after receiving her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as part of a mobile vaccination program on July 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama | Getty Images News | Getty Images
A key advisory group from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing to vote on Friday on distributing Covid-19 vaccine booster shots to Americans with compromised immune systems.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is due to meet on Friday to consider Covid booster vaccinations for such people, including cancer and HIV patients. On Thursday, the CDC updated their website to indicate that a vote is scheduled for the meeting on Friday around 1 p.m. ET.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve a third Covid vaccination for immunocompromised populations on Thursday, a highly anticipated move designed to protect some of the most vulnerable Americans from the highly contagious Delta variant.
However, the FDA’s OK is not the final go-ahead. The CDC Advisory Committee must then make a recommendation on how to distribute the booster shots. If the CDC accepts the advisory group’s recommendation as expected, third shots could begin immediately.
Immunocompromised populations would be the first group in the US to receive a booster vaccination. Federal health officials are not currently recommending additional doses for the general public.
People with compromised immune systems make up only about 2.7% of the adult US population. Still, they account for around 44% of hospitalized breakthrough Covid cases, according to recent data from the CDC group. A breakthrough case is infection in a fully vaccinated person.
The Senior Medical Advisor to the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci said last week that new data suggests that immunocompromised people are not generating an adequate immune response after receiving two doses of a Covid vaccine.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the FDA has worked closely with Pfizer and Moderna to give these vulnerable groups the opportunity to receive booster vaccinations.
“An extra dose could help increase protection for these people, which is especially important as the Delta variant is spreading,” she said during a Covid briefing at the White House. “This action is about ensuring that our most vulnerable, who may need an extra dose to improve their biological responses to the vaccines, are better protected from Covid-19.”