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Workers with a higher risk of getting COVID-19, like healthcare workers and teachers, are eligible for a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot

  • The FDA authorized booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for some groups on Wednesday.
  • People 18 to 64 who have a higher risk of getting COVID-19 at work are among the eligible groups.
  • That could include healthcare workers, teachers, and grocery store employees, among others.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use in some groups on Wednesday, and lots of American workers just became eligible.

The FDA authorized the boosters for people 65 and older and people 18 to 64 who are at a high risk of getting a severe case of COVID-19. It also approved the shots for people 18 to 64 who are at a higher risk of getting COVID-19 while at work.

That could include healthcare workers, teachers, and grocery store employees, among other occupations.

“Today’s action demonstrates that science and the currently available data continue to guide the FDA’s decision-making for COVID-19 vaccines during this pandemic,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement, adding that the authorization was amended “to allow for a booster dose in certain populations such as health care workers, teachers, and daycare staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others.”

The FDA also authorized the boosters for those 18 to 64 who are at a higher risk of getting COVID-19 because of where they reside, such as prisons and other institutions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to issue more guidance on who should be prioritized to receive the booster shots. But similar to the initial vaccine rollout, it will be up to state and local governments to implement.

Unlike the initial vaccine rollout, the US is less likely to face a supply issue where those who are eligible have a difficult time getting a shot.

The US is still urging Americans to get their first vaccine dose. As of Wednesday, 75% of eligible Americans 12 years of age or older had received one vaccine dose according to the CDC, while 64% were fully vaccinated.

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