CDC and FDA approve second COVID-19
booster for those over 50 years old

If you are boosted you are 21 times less likely to die from COVID-19

On March 30, 2022, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) issued an advisory stating, “In order to maintain the highest level of protection from vaccinations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for individuals age 50 and older and certain immunocompromised individuals. 

The ADPH issued this advisory because, “Protection offered by COVID-19 vaccine decreases over time, and cautions that even in times of low community transmission, the risk for older and immunocompromised persons to become severely ill with COVID-19 is not zero.” 

The FDA previously authorized a single booster dose for certain immunocompromised individuals following completion of a three-dose primary vaccination series. This action will now make a second booster dose of these vaccines available to other populations at higher risk for severe disease, hospitalization and death. Emerging evidence suggests that a second booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against severe COVID-19 and is not associated with new safety concerns.

In a recent briefing, sponsored by Ethnic Media Services (EMS), experts stated that two years into the pandemic, COVID-19 cases have decreased dramatically and 95% of Americans have some immunity either for having been vaccinated or previously infected with the virus.

However, experts from the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention (CDC), warned that because it’s unpredictable to know when the next variant or the next pandemic is coming, vaccination remains the most important preventive measure for all age groups.

Dr. Shannon Stokley DrPH, Co-Lead of the CDC Vaccine Task Force said at the EMS briefing that:

“We’ve given more than 559 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and that’s three times the amount of vaccine that’s usually given in a flu season. A good majority of that has been mRNA vaccines that have been proven safe and effective at preventing complications from COVID-19, including severe disease, hospitalization, and death.”

“Currently there are multiple manufacturers that are conducting clinical trials to assess the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine among children younger than five years of age. Once complete, those manufacturers must submit an application to the US Food and Drug Administration. The FDA will then review the data and if there’s good evidence of safety and effectiveness, they will authorize the vaccine under emergency use for children in this age group.”

“If you’re boosted, you are 21 times less likely to die from COVID-19. So, vaccination remains the most effective and safest way to prevent COVID-19.”

“Over time you’ll have waning immunity and that is why we’ve been recommending a booster dose of vaccine. What we’re really concerned about there is preventing hospitalization and death. And these vaccines are very good at preventing these severe outcomes.”

Dr. John T. Brooks, MD, CDC Senior Medical Adviser, added to the EMS briefing the following:

“BA2 variant represents 35% of circulating variants nationally… There is no evidence that BA2 variant results in more severe disease, nor does it appear to be more likely to evade immune protection. But it does have increased transmission in comparison to the related BA1 variant that circulated in the US peaking during January of 2021.”

“We’re watching the signals in Western Europe and the UK and then also in parts of Asia. The situation in the US has an important difference from those: we have very high levels of immunity in this country, 95% of Americans have some evidence of either having been vaccinated or previously infected with COVID. We think that’s very high compared to some other places in the world.”

“We live in one world, and we’re only as safe as a plane ride away. It’s important that we protect everyone in our world community. Untreated COVID-19 infection is the source of new variants. People who are not vaccinated and become infected can become the source of new variants to emerge. These are good reasons to want to provide the vaccine to everyone possible.”

“This pandemic is not over and we have to be prepared to take care of ourselves and to take care of others. Should there be a resurgence? or should there be another pandemic coming after this one? History has shown us over and over this is not the last one. My message here is to be prepared for the future.”

Persons in Greene County interested in more information or to make an appointment for a vaccination or a booster, may call the Greene County Public Health Department at 205-372-9316; or the Greene County Physicians Clinic at 205-372-3388, Ext. 4.

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