Vaccine boosters: FDA approves third dose for immunocompromised individuals

Vaccine boosters: FDA approves third dose for immunocompromised individuals

Pfizer and Modern have previously publicized the potential need for COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

The talks about COVID-19 vaccine boosters have become apparent these past few months. While experts asserted that the need for it is likely, it remains unclear when the additional doses will be necessary.

But, the recent surges of infections globally have led many wealthy nations to plan for the distribution of booster shots. This is despite many low-income countries remaining in crisis due to the lack of access to first vaccine doses.

On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines in the country. This is to allow the use of a third jab in certain groups of individuals, according to Reuters.

Emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines amended by the FDA

The publication said that the FDA must either fully authorize the vaccines or amend the emergency use authorizations to allow the COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Following the amendment, several reports have since noted that the agency has already authorized a booster dose for people with compromised immune systems.

As reported, the third doses are specifically for recipients of solid organ transplant. They are also for those with “conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.”

Nevertheless, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would meet on Friday for further discussions. These would reportedly include the “eligibility of immunocompromised individuals for booster doses.”

The move comes as health officials from the U.S. assert that the protection from the existing vaccinations “may not be sufficient” among those with weak immune systems. Moreover, the country has continued to see a spike in Delta COVID-19 transmissions. It has since brought the figures to their highest levels in more than six months.

Emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines amended by the FDA

Vaccine boosters from Pfizer, Moderna

The authorized vaccine boosters will be from Pfizer and Moderna. Both of the vaccine makers have previously emphasized the need for booster shots, leading them to seek authorizations.

Pfizer stated that the efficacy of its vaccines drops over time. Meanwhile, Moderna cited the “breakthrough” infections among fully vaccinated individuals due to the Delta variant as the basis for the eventual need for boosters.

A call for a moratorium from the World Health Organization

Last week, the World Health Organization called for a “moratorium” on booster doses until the end of September. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that this is to enable the vaccination of at least 10 percent of every country’s population.

Apart from the United States, Israel, Germany, and the United Kingdom have announced their plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccine boosters for certain vulnerable populations, according to CNN.

Images courtesy of ABC News/YouTube

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