FDA Advisors Recommend Moderna COVID Vaccine Boosters for Some Groups
The Food and Drug Administration panel of advisors had voted unanimously to recommend a booster shot for seniors and adults with other health problems.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, people in jobs or living situations that put them at increased risk for COVID were also included in the group recommended for receiving a booster shot.
Many of those who got their initial Pfizer shots at least six months ago are already getting a booster after FDA greenlighted their use last month.
The FDA will use its advisors' recommendations in deciding whether to allow boosters from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
FDA scientists presenting to the committee highlighted that the immunity from two Moderna doses remains strong enough to protect most people from getting sick to need hospitalization or from dying of infection, according to a TIME report.
The report has led many committee members to question the reason for extending the booster recommendation to younger people with healthy immune systems.
Moderna COVID Vaccine Boosters
Dr. Paul Offitt, a committee member and professor of pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said that clearly, the booster is to benefit older people. Offitt added that he is less impressed with data regarding the younger groups. He said that he worries that the wide use of the booster without any clear evidence of benefit would send the wrong message.
Dr. Michael Kurilla, an infectious disease expert with the National Institutes of Health, said that the younger population appears to be responding well to the vaccines, adding that protection is holding up.
Reuters reported that Dr. Patrick Moore of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said that he voted in favor of Moderna boosters based largely on a "gut feeling" rather than serious data.
Moore backed Offitt's statement, saying the data itself is not strong, but it is certainly going in the direction that is supportable of the favorable vote.
Moderna's COVID vaccine showed that the booster increases protective antibodies. But antibody levels before and after the vaccination was not enough by one measure of FDA standards of success.
The booster program in Israel improved severe disease protection in people aged 40 and older, as shown during the FDA presentation.
Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, director of public health services at the Ministry of Health in Israel, said that they see a break in the epidemic curve in Israel. Alroy-Preis said she has no doubt that booster shots can be attributed to the change of the curve of the pandemic in Israel.
Moderna's booster dose would be given as a half dose of 50 micrograms. Initial vaccination series has administered 100 micrograms to recipients of the vaccine, according to an NBC News report.
The therapeutic head for infectious disease at Moderna, Jacqueline Miller, said that the company chose half-dose as it wanted to use the lowest dose possible needed to induce an immune response. Miller added that lower-dose booster has worked well for other vaccines, such as those that protect against tetanus and diphtheria, among others.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: FDA Advisory Panel Unanimously Recommends Moderna Booster Shots Against Covid - from NBC News
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