October 14, 2021 – A panel of experts advising the Food and Drug Administration on vaccine decisions voted unanimously Thursday to approve booster doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The 19 members of the Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products voted to allow a 50-mg dose – half the dose used in the initial series of injections – to boost immunity against COVID-19 at least 6 months after the second dose. . Those who may need a booster are the same groups that got the green light for Pfizer’s third doses. People include:
- over 65
- Ages 18-64 who are most at risk of severe COVID-19
- People at higher risk of contracting COVID because they live in congregational settings such as nursing homes or prisons, or because they are frequently exposed at work, such as health care workers
The agency is not bound by the committee’s vote but usually follows its recommendations.
Some committee members said they were unhappy with the data Moderna provided to support its application, but for practical reasons, they said it would not be fair to remove booster doses from the table for Moderna recipients when Pfizer boosters are already available.
Eric Rubin, Managing Director, Editor-in-Chief The New England Journal of Medicine A member has the right to a temporary vote in the committee.
The committee meeting is ongoing. This story will be updated.