The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the use of COVID-19 vaccine boosters for everyone 18 and older.
CDC vaccine advisers have recommended the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines for all US adults six months after they finish their first two doses by a unanimous, 11-0, vote on Friday afternoon.
The CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky stated:
“After critical scientific evaluation, today’s unanimous decision carefully considered the current state of the pandemic, the latest vaccine effectiveness data over time, and review of safety data from people who have already received a COVID-19 primary vaccine series and booster. Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays. Based on the compelling evidence, all adults over 18 should now have equitable access to a COVID-19 booster dose.”
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are messenger RNA vaccines, also called mRNA vaccines. The vaccines are some of the first COVID-19 vaccines to be authorized and approved for use in the United States.
All US adults now eliagable for a Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine booster
Earlier on Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised extended use of boosters for adults who had been inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. Prior to that, the FDA had allowed the additional shot for all adult recipients of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine after two months and people in certain higher-risk groups vaccinated with the Moderna doses more than six months ago, employing the so-called “mix-and-match” approach.
The latest CDC decision is expected to simplify the eligibility understanding for the boosters significantly.
The FDA’s advisory panel originally met in September to decide on recommending Pfizer’s boosters for the general public, but decided against doing due to the lack of enough data. Friday’s Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA comes after Pfizer and Moderna submitted new data supporting the booster doses last week.
Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer stated:
“As we near the two-year mark in our fight against COVID-19, we have reached another critical milestone with the expanded authorization of a booster dose of our COVID-19 vaccine in individuals 18 years and older. With boosters, more adults will now have the opportunity to help preserve a high-level of protection against this disease. We are grateful to the FDA for their rigorous review, and the action taken today that we hope will help accelerate our path out of this pandemic.”
Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna said in a statement:
“This emergency use authorization comes at a critical time as we enter the winter months and face increasing COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations across the country.”
Dr. Peter Marks, head of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research stated:
“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. Streamlining the eligibility criteria and making booster doses available to all individuals 18 years of age and older will also help to eliminate confusion about who may receive a booster dose and ensure booster doses are available to all who may need one.”