Sun | Nov 28, 2021

FDA panel endorses lower-dose Moderna COVID shot for booster

Published:Thursday | October 14, 2021 | 2:44 PM
This Wednesday, December 23, 2020, file photo shows a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the first round of staff vaccinations at a hospital in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

United States health officials said Thursday that some Americans who received Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine should get a half-dose booster to bolster protection against the virus.

The panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend a booster shot for seniors, adults with other health problems, jobs or living situations that put them at increased risk for COVID-19.

The recommendation is non-binding but it's a key step toward expanding the US booster campaign to millions of more Americans.

Many people who got their initial Pfizer shots at least six months ago are already getting a booster after the FDA authorised their use last month.

As for the dose, initial Moderna vaccination consists of two 100-microgram shots.

But Moderna says a single 50-microgram shot should be enough for a booster.

The agency convened its experts Thursday and Friday to weigh-in on who should get boosters and when for people that received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots earlier this year.

The FDA will use its advisers' recommendations in making final decisions for boosters from both companies.

Assuming a positive decision, there's still another hurdle: Next week, a panel convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will offer more specifics on who should get one.

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