CDC director on Covid booster shots: ‘I am not at all concerned about supply’

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky clarified her comments regarding Covid-19 booster shots after she told the Atlantic on Monday that she plans on getting a Covid booster shot, but wants to make sure those who are at higher risk get them first.

“I am not at all concerned about supply,” said Walensky on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith.” “I do know that here have been some queues in the pharmacies as people have been wanting to get their booster right away, so I merely indicated that I didn’t want to be in a rush above those who are over the age of 65 who might be more at risk than I am, and I’ll wait a week or two, and I will absolutely get mine.”

The CDC endorsed an extra dose of Pfizer’s vaccine for people 65 and older, adults with certain underlying health conditions, and frontline workers including teachers, nurses, and grocery store workers. 

Host Shepard Smith also asked Walensky whether or not the process to approve a vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 should have been fast tracked or sped up, amid surging pediatric Covid hospitalizations. 

Walensky told Smith that it was an “important question” that the agency was addressing “with urgency.” She added that the process was a balance between getting a vaccine for children quickly, but also going through the due diligence of clinical trials to ensure the vaccine is safe and effective. 

Pfizer and BioNTech announced that a smaller dose of its Covid-19 vaccine is safe and generates a “robust” immune response in a clinical trial of kids ages 5 to 11. The data, which included more than 2,200 children, will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration and other health regulators “as soon as possible,” the companies said. 

“The FDA will absolutely be addressing those data with urgency and as soon as they give their authorization, if that’s what they choose to do, and we expect that they will, then the CDC will absolutely be giving its recommendation soon thereafter that,” Walensky said.

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