Another Vaccine?!

( – According to some “authorities,” the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet, and health authorities have plans that will impact some people who are more affected than others by the illness.

A federal immunization committee voted on Wednesday to recommend an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose for seniors aged 65 and older.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened to discuss various agenda items, including COVID-19 vaccines. ACIP members voted 11-1 in favor of recommending an extra dose for seniors.

“ACIP members voted 11-1 in favor of recommending an additional dose of the 2023-24 COVID-19 vaccines for those 65 and older.”

Current CDC guidelines already suggest an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose for moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals. This group can choose to receive another shot two months after their initial vaccination.

“Current CDC guidance recommends an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, with people in this group having the option of getting one more dose two months after their initial shot.”

Approximately 23 percent of adults have received the updated COVID-19 vaccines, according to recent CDC estimates. Among Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older, this rate remains the same, though the latest data for this demographic dates back to November.

“According to the most recent CDC estimates, about 23 percent of adults are believed to have gotten the updated, monovalent COVID-19 vaccines. Among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries 65 and older, this figures stays the same at 23 percent, though the most recent update from the CDC for this demographic is from November.”

COVID-19 vaccines have shown to be highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. However, their effectiveness can diminish over time, particularly among older adults, whose immune responses to vaccines tend to be weaker.

“COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death, but their effectiveness has been observed to wane over time, just as the protection from natural infection does. Among older adults, the immune response triggered by vaccines has consistently been observed to be weaker.”

In response to the ACIP’s decision, vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Novavax expressed their support.

“Pfizer supports the CDC’s adoption of ACIP’s recommendation that eligible adults 65 years of age and older should receive an additional dose of a 2023-2024 formula COVID-19 vaccine,” Pfizer stated.

“Today’s recommendation acknowledges the need to protect vulnerable older adults from COVID-19 this spring with an additional dose of XBB.1.5 vaccine,” Novavax said in a statement.

Moderna did not respond to requests for comment.