An independent advisory group from the United States Food and Drug Administration has unanimously recommended that people over 65 years of age or at high risk of serious illness be given a booster dose of ModernaCovid-19 vaccine.
A similar recommendation was made in September for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the boosters that are currently being administered.
The FDA will now review the recommendation. Authorities are expected to make a decision within days of whether to roll out a Moderna booster program for those who were vaccinated at least six months ago. While the FDA is not obligated to follow the recommendation, it generally does.
Almost 70 million Americans have received two doses of the Moderna vaccine. The booster would be half a dose.
The Vaccines and Related Biologics Advisory Committee was invited to vote on whether the available data supports the administration of a 50 microgram booster dose to three high-risk groups – those over 65 years ; people aged 18 to 64 at high risk of severe Covid-19; and adults whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure to Covid, such as medical staff, puts them at high risk of contracting the virus and developing serious complications.
An advisory committee from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gives recommendations on how vaccines should be deployed is due to meet on Wednesday.
When Pfizer advocates for people to receive booster shots, the drug company said its effectiveness appeared to decrease over time, a claim supported by CDC research which found effectiveness against hospitalization fell by 91%. at 77% after four months.
However, Moderna’s efficacy holds up better, so the company has advocated for booster shots based on the vaccine’s ability to prevent infection and ease symptoms in mild to moderate cases.
Five months after a second dose, Moderna’s research shows that the vaccine remains highly protective, with 93% effectiveness in preventing disease and 98% in preventing serious disease.
Johnson & Johnson has asked the FDA to consider a recall for recipients of their vaccine, and the same panel will vote on it on Friday.
They will also discuss whether it is better for recipients of the single-injection J&J vaccine to receive a dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, but no vote will be taken yet on this.
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The Independent Gt