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U.S. FDA authorizes third dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for older Americans By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO. At a Miami – Dade County/Miami Heat vaccination event, a health worker pulls a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine vial from a vial. This was on the 5th of August 2021. REUTERS/Marco Bel

(Reuters) -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer Inc (NYSE:) and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 65 and older and some high-risk Americans, paving the way for a quick rollout of the shots.

According to FDA, booster doses must be administered within six months of completion of the previous dose. The authorization will apply to those who are most vulnerable to severe illness and to people working in high-risk jobs, according to FDA.

An advisory panel of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could vote Thursday on whether to use a third dose of vaccine. This was according to an official from the agency at a Wednesday meeting.

In August, President Joe Biden declared that the government would begin offering booster shots to people 16 years and over. This is subject to FDA approval.

After rejecting an overwhelming request for wider approval, FDA advisory panel members voted to endorse COVID-19 booster shots for Americans aged 65 or older as well as those who are at highest risk for severe illness.

The panel of advisors said that there wasn’t enough evidence to recommend booster shots for anyone 16 years old or older, who has received at least one dose within six months. They also requested more safety data.

In the future, the agency may revisit the topic of booster shots to allow for more authorization. The FDA’s top members are divided on whether boosters should be given to the general public. Janet Woodcock, interim head of FDA, supports them while some senior scientists at the agency disagree.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) said on Tuesday a second shot of its COVID-19 vaccine increased its effectiveness in the United States against moderate to severe forms of the disease.

Data from Moderna (NASDAQ:) Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine on booster doses is just weeks away, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said on Sunday.

Some countries including Israel have implemented COVID-19-related booster campaigns, as has Britain. According to CDC data, over 2,000,000 people have received a third shot and the United States has authorized additional shots for those with compromised immune systems.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.