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New CDC Advice: Seniors Should Get 2nd Updated COVID Shot Now!

CDC Advice

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made a forceful recommendation on Wednesday that adults aged 65 years and older should receive a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the fall 2023 season. This emphatic guidance comes as senior citizens still account for an outsized proportion of coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths, even three years into the pandemic.

According to CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen, a full 88% of COVID-19 in-hospital fatalities from January to July 2023 occurred among seniors 65 and up. She warned that an additional vaccine dose can provide crucial extra protection against severe breakthrough infections for those at highest risk. The CDC’s advisory committee voted 11-1 to back this policy, despite some members preferring more tentative language that seniors “may” get boosted.

But CDC experts argued strongly that clearer directives are essential to driving higher vaccination rates. So far, only 42% of people 65 and older have received an updated bivalent booster released last fall. Meanwhile, around 20,000 Americans per week are still being hospitalized for COVID-19 complications.

Between October 2022 and January 2023 alone, a staggering 67% of these hospitalizations involved seniors. And approximately 2,000 people die from the virus weekly—a reminder that COVID remains deadly for vulnerable groups. An additional vaccine dose can restore waning immunity vital to preventing severe disease over time.

Government health agencies have struggled to motivate seniors to stay up-to-date with boosters throughout the long pandemic. Many have become apathetic or skeptical of vaccine guidance that seems to shift frequently.

That’s why the CDC believes more definitive recommendations are required rather than wishy-washy statements that seniors “may” get boosted. Hopefully, this clarity will break through vaccine inertia and fatigue among the elderly.

Because if COVID hospitalization rates don’t start trending downward soon, more assertive public health measures may be on the horizon. America cannot risk the most vulnerable being left unprotected.


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