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FDA panel endorses Moderna COVID boosters for many Americans

A panel of experts recommended Moderna booster shots for many Americans. Who qualifies?

Worker uses Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
A worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Metairie, La. An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration recommended a booster shot of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine for many Americans, per The New York Times.
Gerald Herbert, Associated Press

An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration recommended a booster shot of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine for many Americans, per The New York Times.

The panel said the following groups should get a half-dose as a third injection:

  • Anyone who is 65 years and older.
  • Younger Americans who are at high risk due to medical conditions.
  • Americans who are at high risk due to their jobs.

These are the same groups of people who were approved to take the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. People can now receive a Pfizer booster shot since it received FDA approval.

The approval by the FDA advisory panel now means it’s up to the full FDA to approve the booster shot.

  • “While regulators are not obligated to follow the panel’s recommendations, they typically do,” according to The New York Times.

Scientists with the FDA said Tuesday that Moderna’s booster shot didn’t meet the FDA’s criteria because it didn’t produce antibody levels big enough to warrant a booster shot, according to Yahoo! News.

But unnamed sources recently told Bloomberg that the FDA would likely suggest a half-dose for the Moderna coronavirus booster shot because the original doses of the Moderna vaccine were so strong.

  • Indeed, Moderna’s original two-dose regimen included two 100-microgram doses, compared to Pfizer’s first two shots, which included two 30-microgram doses, as I wrote for the Deseret News.