Additional covid-19 boosters approved for people over 50
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved on March 29 an update to its vaccination recommendations: those who are immunocompromised or over 50 are eligible for another mRNA booster shot if it’s been at least four months since their last dose.
While covid-19 cases have remained low in Wareham in recent weeks, the town’s senior residents, who make more than 25% of the population, can now be more protected against the disease.
The recommendation comes after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna covid-19 vaccine for certain groups.
“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,” the FDA said in a press release.
In addition to this new guidance, the CDC also said on March 29 that adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine more than four months ago can now get a second booster of an mRNA covid-19 vaccine.
“Boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster 4 months after their prior dose to increase their protection further,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said in the release. “This is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19 as they are the most likely to benefit from receiving an additional booster dose at this time.”
Separately, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday announced a new initiative to bring free covid-19 tests to those on Medicare. Up to eight over-the-counter covid-19 at-home tests a month will be covered by Medicare under its new program for users who have Part B coverage, including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Those with Part A coverage are not covered, but they may be covered through other local programs.
Residents can find vaccine providers nearby at www.vaccines.gov.
Cases of covid-19 in Wareham have remained low, as there have been between seven and 11 new cases reported per week over the last month.