"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

CDC may recommend spring COVID boosters for at-risk groups

February 16, 2024 – A CDC advisory committee will meet this month to determine whether to recommend a spring COVID booster vaccination for vulnerable groups comparable to the elderly and other people with weakened immune systems.

Members of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are expected to vote on the spring booster on February twenty eighth, NBC News reported, citing an unnamed source near the committee. In the past, the CDC has typically followed the guidance of its advisory groups.

The spring COVID vaccine could be the identical one approved last fall, targeting the XBB.1.5 sub-variant. This vaccine also works against the JN.1 subvariant, which is now widespread within the United States.

“The discussion is aimed at the people who most accept the public health recommendations,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. “The committee, in its rigorous manner since the question was raised, will consider a second dose for those at high risk or for those who wish to receive it.”

Americans haven’t fully embraced the COVID booster shot introduced last fall. The CDC said on Feb. 9 that only 21.9% of Americans over 18 had received the booster shot, while 42% of those over 65 received it.

Advisory committees in Canada and that Great Britain have already beneficial spring COVID vaccines for seniors, people in congregate care settings and other people over 6 months old with weakened immune systems.