CDC simplifies COVID-19 vaccine recommendations

Following FDA regulatory action, CDC has taken steps to simplify COVID-19 vaccine recommendations and allow more flexibility for people at higher risk who want the option of added protection from additional COVID-19 vaccine doses.
CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met today to discuss these COVID-19 vaccine recommendation changes, and the associated implications and implementation. Although there was no vote at this meeting, ACIP members expressed their support for these recommendations.
These changes include:
*CDC’s new recommendations allow an additional updated (bivalent) vaccine dose for adults ages 65 years and older and additional doses for people who are immunocompromised. This allows more flexibility for healthcare providers to administer additional doses to immunocompromised patients as needed.
*Monovalent (original) mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be recommended for use in the United States.
*CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 years and older receive an updated (bivalent) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of whether they previously completed their (monovalent) primary series.
*Individuals ages 6 years and older who have already received an updated mRNA vaccine do not need to take any action unless they are 65 years or older or immunocompromised.
For young children, multiple doses continue to be recommended and will vary by age, vaccine, and which vaccines were previously received.
Alternatives to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines remain available for people who cannot or will not receive an mRNA vaccine. CDC’s recommendations for use of (monovalent) Novavax or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccines were not affected by the changes made today.
CDC and ACIP will continue to monitor COVID-19 disease levels and vaccine effectiveness in the months ahead and look forward to additional discussion around potential updates this fall.
Because the latest recommendations can be confusing, the Illinois Valley News reached out to Josephine County Public Health’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Leah Swanson and she gave the following clarification:
“*Any immunocompetent person 6 through 64 years of age who has received at least 1 dose of bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is currently up-to-date.
*Any immunocompetent unvaccinated person over 6 years of age may be brought up-to-date with a single dose of bivalent COVID-19 vaccine.
*Recipients ≥ 65 years of age may choose to receive an additional dose of bivalent COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after their most recent dose. This dose is not required to be considered up-to-date.”