Top AAMC doctor addresses COVID-19 booster questions and concerns

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Many Americans across the U.S. are lining up to get COVID-19 booster shots.

According to the Washington Post, Pfizer-BioNTech is expected to seek FDA authorization for all adults to get the extra shots. That could happen as soon as this week, but plans have not yet been confirmed by the drug company.

The CDC recently expanded eligibility for booster shots to include some adults as young as 18. Older Americans were the first to get the green light.

"You know, certainly the older adults, those who are over 65,” Dr. Rosha McCoy from the Association of American Medical Colleges, a partner of the CDC, said. “Those over 18 living in long-term care facilities definitely should be getting a booster, and really, adults who are over the age of 50, who have chronic medical conditions, should also seriously consider getting a booster."

Dr. McCoy added that younger adults — who have underlying conditions, work or live in high-risk settings, or received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago — should get another shot as soon as possible, including health care providers and teachers.

"Even if they don’t get sick, there’s some concern that they can transmit the virus, so really trying to protect the unvaccinated as well,” she said.

Past vaccine shortages have raised concerns about supply, especially now that more people are going back for extra shots. Dr. McCoy says not to worry.

"We’ve been assured by the administration that they don’t expect vaccine shortages,” she said. “The vaccine is very much available."

Dr. McCoy said it is OK if adults want to get a different booster from their original vaccine series.

"The CDC believes that if you got the first set of vaccines, and you did well with them, it probably makes the most sense to kind of stay with that,” Dr. McCoy said. "but I think it’s perfectly reasonable for someone to consider getting another vaccine as well."

For anyone who is on the fence about getting another round of vaccinations, Dr. McCoy said it is a necessary step to get back to normal life and to prevent future surges of COVID-19.

"We really need to encourage folks to take the politics out of it, and encourage folks to do this for themselves and for their families," she said.