By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4)– Plans to roll out a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to the general public will be scaled back. This comes after the Food and Drug Administration approved the boosters only for a targeted group.

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“They felt like there wasn’t sufficient data to recommend it broadly to all,” Director of Infection Prevention at UCHealth, Dr. Michelle Barron said.

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For several weeks they have been providing a third dose to those now in that approved group.

“They did tentatively approve it for over 65 and those with high-risk medical conditions as well as health care workers,” Barron said.

So the question is, why not give the option for a booster to everyone?

“They just didn’t feel like they had enough evidence yet to say that the potential risk of a side effect or complication was worth the added benefit,” she said.

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Dr. James Neid, the Director of Infection Prevention at the Medical Center of Aurora says in addition to the risk-benefit factor, it’s because the vaccine works.

“The message is resoundingly clear, it means that the vaccine is holding just fine in everybody below 65 at this point,” he said.

Neid says that’s what they are seeing in his hospital. The majority of COVID-19 patients are those who have not been vaccinated.

“We are seeing vaccinated patients in the hospital who are sick, who are in the ICU, but it is the people we expected from the get-go who don’t have a robust immune response,” Neid said.

(credit: CBS)

Both experts believe the focus should return to those who haven’t had a single dose of the vaccine.

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“There’s a tendency to jump the gun and talk about boosters, boosters, boosters and drive the perspective away from the real problem in this pandemic,” he said.

Karen Morfitt