The US drug watchdog FDA approved a booster vaccine for people over 65 and people from vulnerable groups, and it said in a statement Wednesday (local time).
An independent FDA advisory committee said last week that it thought an extra shot of the Pfizer vaccine would go too far for all Americans and recommended only giving extra shots to people over 65 and people from vulnerable groups. “The science and available data have been leading,” the regulator writes about the decision.
The word now goes to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is likely to decide on Thursday. Only then will it be clear which Americans can receive a third Pfizer vaccine and when. President Joe Biden had actually planned to start rolling out the third shots for all Americans this week. The companies Pfizer and BioNTech had requested that the booster shot be approved for people aged 16 and over who had their last vaccine dose at least six months ago.
Research in Israel showed that many people lose their protection against the virus after months, but that a third shot increases the protection again. LAST WEEK, the FDA’s Investigative Committee concluded that although protection is waning, two vaccinations still protect enough against severe symptoms and hospitalizations from Covid-19. Therefore, only people with health risks could benefit from a booster shot because they could still become very ill from the coronavirus.