Published On: Fri, Sep 24th, 2021

CDC’s Walensky Defends Overruling Vaccine Advisory Panel on Boosters

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The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday defended unilaterally overruling a panel of experts on which populations should be allowed to receive COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, a Biden appointee who currently directs the CDC, accepted three recommendations on boosters from the agency’s advisory panel. But she rejected a recommendation not to allow boosters for 18- to 64-year-olds who are at a higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19 because of their job or living situation, even though some panel members said that could be interpreted to mean virtually anybody. “I didn’t overrule an advisory committee,” Walensky told reporters during a virtual briefing about 12 hours after she overruled the panel. Members voted unanimously to recommend boosters for everybody 65 and older and overwhelmingly for people 50 to 64 who have underlying medical conditions like obesity. The vote narrowed to 9-6 on …

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