CDC director says she overruled advisers on boosters to protect workers

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said on Friday she overruled the agency's advisory committee vote against approving Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to at-risk adult workers to protect healthcare and frontline workers and ensure equity.

"Many of our frontline workers, essential workers, and those in congregate settings, come from communities that have already been hardest hit," she told reporters at a White House briefing.

"It was a decision about providing rather than withholding access," she added.

Walensky said approval of boosters for certain at-risk individuals is "first step," and that the CDC would update its guidance on boosters in real time as needed. The agency will evaluate in the coming weeks data on boosters for recipients of the J&J and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.