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August 19, 2021

FDA Authorizes COVID Booster Shots for Immunocompromised People

The FDA has authorized giving an extra dose of COVID-19 vaccine to people with weakened immune systems, expanding the use of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for organ transplant recipients and patients with other conditions like cancer. The decision does not extend to any other fully vaccinated category, the agency said in a statement.

FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said, “After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.” The FDA’s decision was supported by a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showing a third dose of Moderna’s vaccine significantly increased levels of COVID-19-fighting antibodies in 55% of transplant-receiving patients. Immunocompromising conditions include blood cancers, HIV, multiple sclerosis, and many others. FDA is evaluating data for other vaccinated groups such as the elderly, but no decision has yet been made.