Message from the Chief Medical Officer: COVID-19 vaccine booster update
Dear faculty, staff, students and residents:
With the intent to keep our faculty, staff and students informed on the continuously emerging information on the COVID-19 boosters, below is an update as of Sept. 1, 2021. We do expect additional changes in the recommendations and timelines based on new and evolving data.
- The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met Aug. 30 and supported the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 16 and older announced Aug. 23. The ACIP expressed hope that FDA approval will pave the way for greater acceptance of COVID vaccination among those who have yet to receive it.
- The CDC indicated that data informing booster administration remains unclear as to whether the recent increase in COVID-19 infections among those already vaccinated is due to waning immunity or the emergence of the highly contagious delta variant. Boosters for the general public have not yet been authorized nor approved by the CDC or FDA, which is required for boosters to be administered.
- The ACIP continues to collect safety and effectiveness data for the booster and it is anticipated that Pfizer will soon submit its booster authorization request to the FDA.
Please remember, information changes frequently. We anticipate further statements and recommendations from these agencies over the next several weeks. Until then, the CDC continues to advise against giving individuals an additional vaccine dose outside of the authorized third dose for immunocompromised persons.
The Vaccine Access and Assessment Task Force, appointed by President Henrich that is comprised of infectious disease, scientific and medical experts at UT Health San Antonio, will continue to follow the science, as well as the recommendations from federal agencies, on vaccine efficacy and administration of boosters. UT Health San Antonio will continue to administer first, second and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible individuals.
UT Health San Antonio is not administering COVID-19 boosters at this time; however, as we are closely monitoring this very dynamic field, we will provide ongoing updates as they become available.
Robert Leverence, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UT Health Physicians