The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines for booster shot use for adults in the U.S., the agency announced Friday,
The announcement was made just two months after the FDA first rejected the White House’s plan to administer booster shots to all adults the week of Sept. 20. FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock approved the booster without holding the usual public meeting to review the data, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will meet Friday afternoon to discuss the authorization, according to the FDA press release.
“Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has worked to make timely public health decisions as the pandemic evolves. COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be the best and highly effective defense against COVID-19,” Woodcock said in the press release.
“Authorizing the use of a single booster dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older helps to provide continued protection against COVID-19, including the serious consequences that can occur, such as hospitalization and death,” Woodcock added.
Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 boosters were previously approved for individuals 65 years old and older, high-risk individuals 18 to 64 years old and adults with frequent exposure to the virus, according to the press release.
“The FDA has determined that the currently available data support expanding the eligibility of a single booster dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to individuals 18 years of age and older,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in the press release.
“Streamlining the eligibility criteria and making booster doses available to all individuals 18 years of age and older will also help eliminate confusion about who may receive a booster dose and ensure booster doses are available to all who may need one,” Marks added.
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