CDC recommends seniors get another COVID-19 vaccine shot

An expert panel on Wednesday recommended seniors 65 years of age and older receive an additional shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI

Feb. 29 (UPI) -- A federal immunization committee is recommending seniors 65 years of age and older receive another dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 11-1 in favor of making the recommendation on Wednesday as the expert advisory panel met to discuss several agenda items.

"Today's recommendation allows older adults to receive an additional dose of this season's COVID-19 vaccine to provide added protection," Mandy Cohen, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday in a statement.

"Most COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations last year were among people 65 years and older. An additional vaccine dose can provide added protection that may have decreased over time for those at highest risk."

The recommendation states that those aged 65 and older should recieve an additional shot of the updated COVID-19 vaccine at least four months after receiving their previous dose, as it may restore protection that has since waned.

"Adults 65 years and older are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, with more than half of COVID-19 hospitalizations during October 2023 to December 2023 occurring in this age group," it said.

The COVID-19 vaccine, which was updated in the fall, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration's standards for safety and effectiveness. It has proven effective at preventing death, hospitalization and severe illness due to the coronavirus.

Previous recommendations made eligible for an additional dose those who are immunocompromised.

According to the CDC, more than 270 million people, accounting for 81.4% of the population, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 230 million people, representing nearly 70% of the nation, have received two.