FDA set to approve third vaccine dose for immunocompromised
( NYPost )
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize third shots of the COVID-19 vaccines for people with compromised immune systems this week, reports said.
The move would come amid a surge in cases due to the more contagious Delta variant.
The FDA will amend the emergency use authorizations for the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – but not the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson vaccine, NBC News reported, citing sources.
An announcement is expected Thursday, NBC said, although other outlets said that it could come Friday or later.
An FDA spokeswoman told The Post the agency was “evaluating potential options” and would share information in the near future.
“The FDA is closely monitoring data as it becomes available from studies administering an additional dose of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to immunocompromised individuals,” the spokeswoman said.
If the emergency use order is amended, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would then offer medical guidance. A CDC group will meet Friday to discuss extra doses, CNN reported.
The pending move by the FDA has been expected for some time, as experts say boosters can help people who may not have as strong an immune response to the vaccines.
Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that extra shots would be OK’d for vulnerable groups “as soon as the data gets to us.”
“There’s no doubt that over time, you’re going to have an attenuation of protection,” Fauci said of boosters.
Those with weakened immune systems are 485 times more likely to die or be hospitalized, CNN stated, citing Johns Hopkins research estimates.
About 2.7 percent of the country’s adult population is immunocompromised, according to CDC data.
All three of the vaccines remain under an emergency order, but the FDA is likely to decide whether to grant full approval of the Pfizer vaccine in the coming weeks.