Booster shots will be allowed for anyone over the age of 18
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization for Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for all U.S. adults on Nov. 19.
The long-anticipated decision will open the door for anyone over the age of 18 to get another dose of the vaccine, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still must authorize its distribution.
The CDC says it will now review new data presented to it and has vowed to move quickly to get the ball rolling once everything is good to go.
“This emergency use authorization comes at a critical time as we enter the winter months and face increasing COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations across the country,” said Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel.
The FDA’s authorization comes at a critical period in the country’s battle to end the COVID-19 pandemic, with vaccinated individuals becoming more susceptible to the virus due to waning vaccine efficacy.
Agency scientists had previously been at odds with the Biden Administration over approving the booster shots for adults in September, arguing it needed more supportive data before it could agree to start the process.
“Streamlining the eligibility criteria and making booster doses available to all individuals 18 years of age and older will also help to eliminate confusion about who may receive a booster dose and ensure booster doses are available to all who may need one,” said the FDA’s Dr. Peter Marks.
The rollout of booster shots has been met with some controversy, namely the concern that wealthier countries are giving citizens a third jab before citizens from poorer countries are able to get their first.
Almost 80% of Americans over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of this writing, while more than 31.4 million Americans have already gotten their booster shot, reports CNBC.
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