The messy process of figuring out exactly who should get another shot of the vaccine — and when — has likely just begun, Axios' Caitlin Owens writes.
Why it matters: Many vaccinated Americans are worried about their level of protection as the pandemic rages. The piecemeal booster decision-making process may be the best way to keep pace with the science, but is at risk of becoming extremely confusing.
Driving the news: An FDA advisory committee on Friday recommended boosters for adults who originally received the Pfizer vaccine and are 65 and older, at high risk of severe COVID, or work in high-risk occupations.
- It did so only after first rejecting the administration's proposal of offering boosters to most adults.
- The FDA will now decide whether to follow the committee's recommendations, which it usually does.
Yes, but: A CDC advisory committee may soon offer more clarity about who qualifies.
- "The FDA committee first voted against offering booster to everyone, and then voted for offering booster to almost everyone," tweeted Walid Gellad, a University of Pittsburgh professor.
Between the lines: "I think the vast majority of those who would want to get the third dose will still be able to get it through this outcome, even if it's not exactly what the White House had in mind," Jason Schwartz, a Yale School of Public Health professor, told me.
- "Communication and messaging will be a challenge compared to a scenario where everyone could just get a vaccine. And implementation will be a challenge because it's not just everyone who's getting a vaccine. So there's still miles to go here," he added.