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Polis frustrated with ‘convoluted messaging out of the CDC and FDA’

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Sunday said he is frustrated with the “convoluted messaging” about booster shots coming from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as his state currently grapples with a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Asked by host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” if he is disappointed that the CDC has not been clear in its guidance for when Americans should get their booster shots, Polis said he is “very frustrated” with the information coming from the two top health agencies.

“I’ve been very frustrated with the convoluted messaging out of the CDC and the FDA,” Polis told Brennan, before airing an endorsement for booster shots six months after becoming fully vaccinated.

“Everybody should get the booster after six months. The data is incredibly clear that it increases your personal protection level,” Polis said.

Americans were left confused last month when CDC officials appeared to disagree in their rulings on booster shots.

A CDC panel in September said it was recommending a third dose of Pfizer’s vaccine for people 65 years old and older, nursing home residents and those ages 18 through 64 who have underlying health conditions.

The panel was mulling including people in potentially high-exposure risk occupations in that group, but ultimately decided against it because they said there was not enough evidence showing that inoculated people under the age of 50 had waning protection against severe disease and hospitalization.

The FDA one day earlier had released a statement saying it was authorizing the Pfizer booster shot for individuals 65 and older and those 18 through 64 years old who are at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness and whose work has a potential high-risk of exposure, the last of which was not included in the CDC panel’s recommendation.

One day after the CDC panel ruled, however, agency Director Rochelle Walensky broke with the advisory committee and authorized the booster shot for the broader group, which included those in potentially high-risk environments.

Polis’ comments come as Colorado is facing a surge in COVID-19 cases, driven largely by the highly infectious delta variant.

He said that while his state was “largely spared” from the “delta spike” over the summer, Colorado is “getting it now.”

He added that the variant is “incredibly effective, like a heat seeking missile, at seeking out the unvaccinated, infecting them, hospitalizing them in large numbers and killing them in certain- in certain- far too often.”

Polis issued an executive order on Thursday that allows booster shots for all adults in Colorado.

Polis’ order declared the entire state at high risk for exposure or transmission of COVID-19 to make shots available to adults six months after their second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine, or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Tags Jared Polis Rochelle Walensky

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