The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation for a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be administered at least 6 months after completion of the primary 2-dose series in certain populations.

The updated interim guidance from the CDC aligns with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent authorization for a booster dose earlier this week. The CDC recommends a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the following populations:

In addition, based on an individual assessment of benefit and risk, people aged 18 to 49 years with underlying medical conditions, as well as those aged 18 to 64 years who are at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their occupational or institutional setting, may receive a booster dose.

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While the advisory committee had been against adding individuals with potential occupational or institutional exposure, such as health care workers, teachers, and other essential workers, to the recommendations, CDC director Rochelle Walensky MD, MPH decided to expand eligibility to align the recommendations with the FDA authorization.

“As CDC Director, it is my job to recognize where our actions can have the greatest impact,” Walensky said in a statement. “At CDC, we are tasked with analyzing complex, often imperfect data to make concrete recommendations that optimize health. In a pandemic, even with uncertainty, we must take actions that we anticipate will do the greatest good.”


CDC statement on ACIP booster recommendations. News release. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed September 24, 2021.

This article originally appeared on MPR