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Medicine Government United States

A key Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group unanimously voted Thursday to recommend distributing Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 booster shots to older Americans and nursing home residents, clearing the way for the agency to give the final OK as early as this evening. CNBC reports: The agency's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices specifically endorsed giving third Pfizer shots to people 65 and older in the first of four votes. The panel will also vote on whether to recommend the shots for adults with medical conditions that put them at risk of severe disease and those who are more frequently exposed to the virus -- possibly including people in nursing homes and prisons, teachers, front-line health employees and other essential workers. The elderly were among the first groups to get the initial shots in December and January.

The vote is seen as mostly a win for President Joe Biden, whose administration has said it wants to give booster shots to all eligible Americans 16 and older as early as this week. While the CDC panel's recommendation doesn't give the Biden administration everything it wanted, boosters will still be on the way for millions of Americans. The endorsement comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to administer third Pfizer shots to many Americans six months after they complete their first two doses. While the CDC's panel's recommendation isn't binding, Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is expected to accept the panel's endorsement shortly.