The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is expected to approve booster doses for the Pfizer/BioNTechCOVID-19 vaccine in all adults before a U.S. advisory committee meets on Friday.
The New York Times said Tuesday that the FDA would make that move as soon as Thursday, citing people familiar with the agency’s plans .
According to some reports, this action would increase the number eligible Americans by tens and millions.
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet the following day to discuss the matter.
If the CDC issues its official recommendation quickly, the booster shots could be made available in all 50 states as soon as possible.
This is a little over a week after Pfizer requested regulators to authorize boosters for all 18-year-olds and older.
Tuesday was also a day when the vaccine maker requested regulators to approve its experimental pill for the disease.
Moderna will likely also submit its own request to the FDA to expand its eligibility for its booster.
However, vaccine mixing and matching was previously given a green light by both the FDA and CDC for Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters.
Some states and cities already allow adults to get Pfizer vaccine boosters, but it is not yet an official U.S. policy.
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The shots were expanded to all adults in California, New Mexico and Arkansas over the past week. New York City made a similar move.
Boosters are now recommended for people who initially received their second Pfizer or Moderna shots at least six months ago if they’re 65 or older or are at high risk of COVID-19 because of health problems or their job or living conditions. Boosters are also recommended for people who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.
Nearly 31 million Americans have received an additional dose of vaccines.
While members of this panel have discussed in past meetings whether there is enough evidence to support the current need for boosters for all adults in the United States, cases in certain regions are on the rise.
Hospital patients are largely unvaccinated. There have been spikes in Minnesota and Michigan.
CDC data shows that close to 80% of people aged 12 and up have received at minimum one dose of vaccines and that 195.4 millions people are now fully vaccinated.
While all three vaccines used in the U.S. continue to offer strong protection against severe COVID-19 illness and death, the shots’ effectiveness against milder infection can wane over time.
This report was compiled by the Associated Press
Source: Fox News