After hours of debate, the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine Advisory Committee voted on Thursday in favor of recommending emergency authorization of Moderna coronavirus vaccine boosters, but only for those most at risk from the virus.
The Vaccines and Related Biological Advisory Committee, a group of outside experts that informs the FDA’s decisions on vaccines, unanimously voted in favor of recommending the agency’s approval of booster doses.
The recommendation only applies to the following groups: those 65 and older, those between 18 and 64 at high risk for severe Covid-19 and those whose occupations put them at risk for the disease.
It’s the same ruling that the panel reached on Pfizer’s boosters last month, with experts in both cases arguing that there isn’t enough evidence to show additional doses of the vaccine for the general population.
While the FDA is not required to comply with the decision of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), it often does and does make important decisions during the Covid-9 pandemic.
The FDA will be expected to issue its decision on Moderna booster shots within days of this panel’s vote, before an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will next week discuss who gets the shots and when. needed.
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FDA advisers will meet again Friday, a two-day event to debate Johnson & Johnson’s booster shot. The J&J vaccine requires only one shot, so experts may be considering the need for a second dose, which many have long considered necessary given its low efficacy.
This is breaking news and will be updated.