US health advisers are debating whether millions of Americans who received the Modern COVID-19 vaccine should receive a booster shot, this time using half the original dose.
Already millions of people who received their initial injections from Pfizer at least six months ago are receiving a booster from that brand. On Thursday, advisers to the Food and Drug Administration evaluated the evidence that Moderna boosters should also be offered, and on Friday they will address the same question for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
US officials emphasize that the priority is to vaccinate the 66 million unvaccinated Americans who are eligible for immunization, those who are most at risk because the extra-contagious delta variant of the coronavirus has been burned across the country.
“It’s important to remember that vaccines still provide strong protection against serious outcomes” such as hospitalization and death from COVID-19, said FDA chief of vaccines Dr. Peter Marks.
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But Marks said it is also clear that there is decreased protection against milder infections with the three coronavirus vaccines used in the US, and encouraged the advisory panel to consider whether the evidence supports similar booster recommendations for all of them. also, since that would “create the least confusion” for the public.
Moderna is seeking FDA approval for a booster used like Pfizer’s – for people 65 and older, or adults with other health problems, jobs, or life situations that put them at increased risk for severe coronavirus, once that have passed at least six months of their last can.
The FDA will use the recommendations of its advisers in deciding whether to authorize Moderna’s boosters. If it does, there’s still another hurdle: Next week, a panel convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will offer more details on who should get one.
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The first two injections of Moderna that everyone receives contain 100 micrograms of vaccine. But Moderna says a single 50-microgram injection should be enough for a booster. The company said that would lead to fewer uncomfortable reactions to injections, such as fever and pain, while making more vaccines available for global supply.
A Moderna study of 344 people found that the booster dose stimulated a huge jump in antibodies that fight viruses, including those capable of attacking the delta mutant.
When deliberations began Thursday, FDA advisers immediately highlighted a confusing issue: People with severely weakened immune systems may already receive a third full dose of Moderna vaccine shortly after initial vaccinations, so the question is whether. They should also be eligible for a booster. , which would be his fourth dose.
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