The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an additional booster vaccination dose for those with weak immune systems or who have received organ transplants, it announced on Thursday.
The FDA said that a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine may increase protection in those that are “immunocompromised” or have undergone a solid-organ transplant. Up until now only two doses have been authorized by the FDA for emergency use in patients 12 years and older.
“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised people are particularly at risk for severe disease. After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock in a statement.
“Today’s action allows doctors to boost immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19. As we’ve previously stated, other individuals who are fully vaccinated are adequately protected and do not need an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time. The FDA is actively engaged in a science-based, rigorous process with our federal partners to consider whether an additional dose may be needed in the future.”
Others who are fully vaccinated do not need an additional dose right now, the advisors said. “We think that at least this is a solution for the very large majority of immunocompromised individuals, and we believe that we’ll probably have a solution for the remainder in the not-too-distant future,” FDA official Peter Marks told the CDC panel. The recommendation also does not apply to the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine because not enough data is available, officials said.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BLOOMBERG
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