CDC & FDA Update Guidance
The CDC and FDA updated guidance on several issues this week, including authorizing boosters for people 12 years of age and older.
FDA Expands Use of Pfizer Vaccine
Earlier this week, the FDA amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to:
- Expand the use of a single booster dose to include use in individuals 12 through 15 years of age. NOTE: The CDC is reviewing this recommendation today. If approved by the CDC, local providers will receive detailed guidance before boosters can be provided to this age group.
- Shorten the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and a booster dose to at least five months.
- Allow for a third primary series dose for certain immunocompromised children 5 through 11 years of age.
For more details, visit https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-takes-multiple-actions-expand-use-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine
Shorter Isolation & Quarantine Recommendations
The CDC has shortened the recommended time for isolation for the public.
- People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and, if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of COVID transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.
Additionally, CDC updated the recommended quarantine period for anyone in the general public who is exposed to COVID-19.
- For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.
- Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.
- For all those exposed, best practice would also include a COVID test at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.
For more information on isolation and quarantine, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html
Interval for Booster Reduced to 5 Months
The CDC has shortened the recommended interval from 6 months to 5 months for people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. This means that people can now receive an mRNA booster shot 5 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. The booster interval recommendation for people who received the J&J vaccine (2 months) or the Moderna vaccine (6 months), has not changed. More details at https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/s0104-Pfizer-Booster.html
Additional Primary Dose for Certain Immunocompromised Children
The CDC is recommending that moderately or severely immunocompromised 5–11-year-olds receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second shot. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children aged 5-11. More details at https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/s0104-Pfizer-Booster.html