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Pfizer Vaccine Boosters Expected Soon; Updated Vaccine Wastage Guidance Issued

On Sept. 17th, the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted unanimously to recommend the Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccine for individuals age 65 and older, those considered at "high risk of severe COVID-19," and those who work in settings that make them more likely to get infected. This work setting population includes health care workers, emergency responders, and others whose job puts them at risk for COVID-19. Reporting indicates that it will also pertain to teachers.

Several steps must take place before boosters are fully approved for use. The FDA will meet this week to grant authorization, and then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet on Sept. 22nd and 23rd to recommend and provide additional clarity regarding criteria for those who will be considered at "high risk of severe COVID-19" and worker populations eligible for the booster.

Following the conclusion of the ACIP meeting, the CDC Director will consider the ACIP recommendations and make any official CDC recommendation for use of boosters in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. LeadingAge NY will keep members apprised of next steps after the FDA and CDC take their actions.

Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Moderna vaccines are in a holding pattern, as boosters for those brands are currently under FDA review. Reporting indicates that approval could take place in weeks. There are no recommendations at this time to allow recipients of the Moderna and J&J vaccine to receive the Pfizer booster.

LeadingAge NY encourages members to connect with their long term care pharmacy partners to begin planning for this process, as the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care, which delivered the vaccines to facilities back in early 2021, will not be carrying out booster administration.

Guidance Issued Regarding Vaccine Wastage

Additional guidance was issued recently for entities enrolled in the State Vaccination Program. The guidance will help vaccinators accurately report vaccine wastage and check expiration dates. The guidance and corresponding documentation is available herehere, and here.

Contact: Meg Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-929-9342