US regulator approves booster shots of Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines
On November 22, the US greenlighted Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to be used as booster jabs. These vaccines are developed for the adult population.
On November 19, drugmakers received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to use extra doses of these vaccines. Experts note that they are especially prescribed for those who have already been vaccinated by Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech drugs.
After the approval, more Americans have an opportunity to get booster shots. It is believed that the drug is also effective against the COVID-19 delta strain. In addition, it helps fully vaccinated citizens improve a weakened immune system.
Notably, more than 31 million US citizens have already received booster vaccines. The final decision on the booster shot will be given by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency's current recommendations allow the use of additional doses only for certain groups of the population.
In the near future, booster doses will be available to all adults who have got a second dose of Pfizer/Biotech or Moderna vaccines in the last six months. Those who were vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson Inc. two months ago can also get a booster shot.
"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," Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement.
Earlier, US disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci said that it could be possible for COVID-19 to be reduced to an endemic illness. Booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are vital for reaching this goal. He also drew attention to the seasonal risks, namely low temperatures in winter, that may increase the risks of bad colds.