Drugmaker Moderna says it asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve its COVID-19 booster shot for all adults, hoping not to be left behind as regulators prepare to offer a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to everyone over 18.
In a brief statement, the Massachusetts company noted the FDA previously approved its booster — which is 50 micrograms of messenger RNA, or half the dose used in each of the initial shots — for seniors, people who have a high risk of disease or work in dangerous settings.
“The Moderna COVID-19 booster vaccine is authorized for adults ages 18 and above regardless of occupational risk factors in many international markets,” the company said Wednesday.
The Pfizer booster is subject to similar eligibility rules as the Moderna shot, but the FDA is poised to expand eligibility to all adults as soon as Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will discuss the booster on Friday, clearing the way for a broad rollout.
People who received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster shot of any vaccine if they received their J&J dose at least two months ago.
Many states were frustrated with the patchwork of eligibility rules and urged people to go out and seek a booster if they wanted one, a remarkable end-run around the federal process.
There was little to stand in their way, however. Pharmacies generally rely on self-attestation in giving the shots and the Biden administration has openly pushed for widespread boosters, citing data that suggests the extra doses backfill waning immunity and can help stave off a winter surge.
About 31 million Americans, or 16% of the fully vaccinated, have sought out a booster so far, according to federal data.
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.