AGS Commends FDA and CDC for Work on COVID-19 Vaccinations

  • .@AmerGeriatrics commends the @US_FDA for authorizing 2 #COVID19 vaccines & expresses its support for the @CDCgov #ACIP's recommendations on groups that should be prioritized for #vaccination in the U.S. https://bit.ly/3h6CiiG

New York (Dec. 21, 2020) —The American Geriatrics Society today commends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its speedy, but thorough and transparent emergency use authorization of two COVID-19 vaccines and expresses its support for the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations on groups that should be prioritized for vaccination in the initial phases of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program.

“An independent expert advisory board, FDA officials, and members of the ACIP have now vetted the available data for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and the AGS trusts the science behind them. We are happy to note that adults ages 65 and older comprised at least 21 percent of participants in Phase 3 clinical trials, and both vaccines demonstrated at least 86.5 percent efficacy in that age group,” said AGS President Annette Medina-Walpole, MD, AGSF.  “Based on these results, we encourage older adults to get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available to them.” 

Earlier this month, the ACIP recommended that some 21 million essential healthcare workers and some three million residents of long-term care facilities be offered the COVID-19 vaccine first. Yesterday, ACIP voted to recommend that approximately 30 million other frontline essential workers (including first responders, teachers and other education workers, and food and agriculture workers) and about 21 million adults ages 75 and older be prioritized in the second phase of the national vaccination program. The committee has also recommended that the third phase concentrate on adults ages 65 to 74, people ages 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not included in the first two stages.

“We’re very pleased to see the ACIP prioritizing Americans who have been the most vulnerable during the current public health crisis, and the workers who care for them--often without the protection and benefits they deserve,” said AGS CEO Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. “The AGS has advocated for a national vaccine allocation strategy that prioritizes essential healthcare workers across all settings and high-risk populations for vaccination while vaccine supplies remain limited, and ACIP's recommended strategy is aligned with our prior advice.”  

As states begin executing this strategy, the AGS recommends that all Americans continue to take the same precautions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus: “We should all continue to wear masks, wash our hands often, and stay at least six feet away from people outside our immediate households,” Dr. Medina-Walpole advised. “We need to use all of the tools at our disposal if we are to end this pandemic.”

For more information on the AGS response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org/Where-We-Stand/COVID-19.

 

About the American Geriatrics Society

Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals that has—for more than 75 years—worked to improve the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Its nearly 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org.