Pfizer and BioNTech are expected to request that the Food and Drug Administration authorize a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for people age 18 and older sometime this week, The New York Times reports.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended COVID-19 booster shots six months after the second dose for certain patients, including seniors, people with some medical conditions, and people whose work puts them at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
The Times notes that the FDA is thought likely to approve this request, possibly as soon as before Thanksgiving, though an FDA advisory board made up of outside experts voted against a previous request, which was similar to the present one, from Pfizer last September.
The panel eventually issued a recommendation that mirrors the CDC’s, which covers about 60% of the population, according to the Times.
Jeanne Marrazzo, the Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told The Washington Post that "in August, I thought it was extremely premature to offer boosters to everyone," adding, "the idea of rolling out boosters, while we were trying to increase our primary vaccination rates and dealing with the crushing delta wave, I felt was tone deaf."
However, she says new data shows "durable immunity to the coronavirus is an elusive goal," and said that breakthrough infectious are "not pretty. You don’t want to get a breakthrough infection."
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