The 19 members of the FDA Vaccines and the related advisory committee on biological products decided to grant a dose of 50 milligrams — half the dose used in the primary series of shots — to grant immunity to COVID-19 at least 6 months after the second dose boost. Those who may need a booster are the same groups who received a green light for the third dose of Pfizer. This includes people:
- More than 65 years
- Ages 18 to 64 years who are at greater risk for severe COVID
- Those who are at greater risk of contracting COVID because they live in groups, such as old age homes or prisons, or because they are regularly exposed to work, such as health workers
The agency is not bound by the vote of the committee, but usually follows its recommendations.
Some members of the committee said they were not satisfied with the data Moderna had submitted to support the application, but for practical reasons it said it would not be fair to drop the dose for Moderna’s recipients. to take if Pfizer’s boosters were already available.
“The data is not perfect, but these are extraordinary times and we have to work with data that is not perfect,” said Eric Rubin, managing director, editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine and a temporary member of the committee.
The committee meeting is underway. This story will be updated.