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Pfizer booster shots authorized in Maryland after CDC Director's approval

Virus Outbreak
Posted at 10:44 AM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 10:45:25-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is responding after CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, gave the go ahead for Pfizer's vaccine booster shots.

As of Friday, the CDC recommends anyone 65 and older or living in long-term care facility, as well as people 50 to 64 with an underlying medical condition to seek out a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine, six months after receiving their second shot.

RELATED: CDC director gives final booster approval, overrules panel and offers shots to essential workers

On top of that, the CDC gave the okay for those 18-49 with an underlying medical condition, or workers with increased exposure risk to get a booster.

The authorization comes more than two weeks after the Maryland State Health Department made anyone 65 and older living in a congregate care facility eligible for COVID-19 booster shots. At that same time they also issued guidance instructing all pharmacies and providers across the state to administer boosters without a prescription or doctor’s order to anyone who considers themselves immunocompromised.

MORE: Maryland health providers get green light to give COVID-19 booster to anyone immunocompromised

“While this action was long overdue, I am glad that the federal government has finally approved booster shots for seniors and high-risk individuals," said Hogan in response to the news. "It is a significant step toward providing additional protection for our most vulnerable residents, and supports the data-based decision we made earlier this month to move ahead on booster shots for seniors in congregate settings."

In Maryland, more than 50,000 boosters have already been administered.

Now Hogan says he wants the federal government to sign off on Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters.

“This is important progress, but we continue to press the federal government to issue clear guidance for individuals who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. And with students back in classrooms, it is critical that the federal government expedite approval of vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds," said Hogan.

As of Friday, about 64 percent of eligible residents in Maryland have been fully vaccinated.