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FDA approves second booster shot for Americans over 50

The fourth COVID-19 shot may be available to you

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A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Denver.

In this Monday, Sept. 13, 2021 file photo, , as part of the vaccination campaign called ‘#HierWirdGeimpft’, #Here We Vaccinate, at the Ruth Cohn School in Berlin, Germany.

David Zalubowski, Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration Tuesday authorized a second COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for any Americans over 50 years old.

Driving the news: The FDA said Americans over 50 can receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

  • “This action will now make a second booster dose of these vaccines available to other populations at higher risk for severe disease, hospitalization and death,” the FDA said.

What they’re saying: “Current evidence suggests some waning of protection over time against serious outcomes from COVID-19 in older and immunocompromised individuals,” said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a statement.

  • “A second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine could help increase protection levels for these higher-risk individuals,” he said.
  • And, he said, “the initial booster dose is critical in helping to protect all adults from the potentially severe outcomes of COVID-19. So, those who have not received their initial booster dose are strongly encouraged to do so.”


The bigger picture: The fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot might not be available to you yet since the government hasn’t bought enough doses for every American.