FDA Authorizes Third Shot Of Pfizer & Moderna For The Immunocompromised
On Thursday, the FDA authorized the third dose of COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna for people with weakened immunity with a medical condition, especially from organ transplants. The FDA’s report, however, did not include Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine.
The decision comes after studies have found out that immunocompromised people may not have sufficient immunity to fight the COVID-19 vaccine even after receiving their second shot and may still face serious complications from the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 3% of U.S. adults are immunocompromised.
“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock, during the announcement. “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.”
CDC will review the FDA’s decision to confirm whether to recommend the third dose for this group of people. The department will also assess the need for the booster shot for the general population.
On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci held a press briefing in the White House on the need for booster shots.
“We believe sooner or later you will need a booster for the durability of protection,” Fauci said. “But right at this moment, apart from the immunocompromised, we do not believe that others, elderly or nonelderly, who are not immunocompromised need vaccine right at this moment.”
“We are evaluating this on a day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month basis,” Fauci added. “So, if the data shows us that, in fact, we do need to do that, we’ll be very ready to do it and do it expeditiously.”
The World Health Organization is asking countries for a moratorium on booster shots as millions of people around the world still haven’t received their first dose.
Some countries like Israel, however, have already started giving out a third dose to seniors after their studies showed a drop in immunity over time.