Following steps taken for the Pfizer vaccine, a federal committee voted on Thursday to offer Moderna Vaccine boosters to people who have severe COVID-19 because of their age, underlying health conditions or high risk of viral infection. are at highest risk of -19 disease. Exposure where they work or live.
There is not yet strong enough evidence to recommend a booster for the general population, the group agreed.
A unanimous vote by a panel of outside experts for the US Food and Drug Administration would expand the capacity of nearly 70 million Americans to increase their safety with a third shot at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, health clinics and elsewhere.
But boosters, alone, will not end the pandemic, said infectious disease specialist Dr. Eric Rubin warns.
“If we’re going to get out of this thing, it’s vaccination without being vaccinated,” he said.
Specifically, the panel endorsed authorization for Modern Booster for these groups:
• People 65 years of age and older
• People aged 18 to 64 who are at high risk of developing severe Covid-19
• People between the ages of 18 and 64 who live or work in conditions that increase their risk of serious complications from COVID, such as living in institutions or working in healthcare.
Younger and healthier people show a stronger immune response to the initial vaccines than older ones, he said. Secondly, their defense seems to be getting stronger with time. And they have an increased risk of adverse effects, such as inflammation of the heart.
“I don’t necessarily need a ‘Let It Rip’ campaign for boosters for everyone who has ever been vaccinated,” said immunologist Dr. Stanley Perlman of the University of Iowa.
Recipients of Moderna Booster, such as Pfizer recipients, must wait at least six days after their second injection before being eligible for a third shot.
Earlier this week, a review by the US Food and Drug Administration found that a booster shot of Moderna vaccine — which is half the dose of the initial shots — increased protective antibodies in people who had received the first two doses.
There is growing concern about evidence of so-called mild to moderate “breakthrough infections” in people whose antibody levels are reduced.
It is not clear whether these falling antibody levels will, over time, increase the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and even death.
That’s because antibodies, while easily measured, are only a barometer of immunity, said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Center for Vaccine Education at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Another branch of the immune system — which deploys B cells, T cells and fresh antibodies — keeps the virus’s memory, and lasts longer. This provided an additional measure of security.
Last month, officials authorized the use of Pfizer boosters in high-risk groups.
But according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 4% of Americans have received this booster. In the highest risk group of the elderly, 10% have received a booster.