Here's Who Is Eligible To Receive A COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot

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The FDA's decision to fully approve Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid drug has lifted hopes for a further boost to US vaccination efforts
The FDA's decision to fully approve Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid drug has lifted hopes for a further boost to US vaccination efforts

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as cases continue to surge across the nation. 

In a news release, the federal health agency said it would grant the Pfizer vaccine emergency use authorization for Americans over the age of 65 who had received previously two doses of the same vaccine brand.

The FDA also authorized the booster dose for adults between the ages of 18 to 64 whose jobs put them at risk of contracting severe complications of COVID-19.

The third dose would only be administered at least six months after the second dose. However, the booster shots will only be administered to people who received the Pfizer vaccine doses. 

"After considering the totality of the available scientific evidence and the deliberations of our advisory committee of independent, external experts, the FDA amended the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for a booster dose in certain populations such as health care workers, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others," Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock was quoted as saying in the news release.

“This pandemic is dynamic and evolving, with new data about vaccine safety and effectiveness becoming available every day. As we learn more about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, including the use of a booster dose, we will continue to evaluate the rapidly changing science and keep the public informed,” Woodcock added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to make a recommendation on booster doses as soon as Thursday. Currently, scientific advisers for the CDC are meeting to discuss who should qualify for the booster shots and when, according to The New York Times

Vaccine regulators are also expected to convene and discuss whether booster doses could also be given to recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The FDA’s emergency use authorization comes as the country’s average daily number of new COVID-19 infections climbed to 2,031 Tuesday, the first time it surpassed the 2,000 mark since March, according to Johns Hopkins University

The U.S. has reported 42,539,373 COVID-19 cases and 681,111 deaths since the start of the pandemic.


President Joe Biden is set to announce the United States plans to donate an additional 500 million Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccines to the rest of the world
President Joe Biden is set to announce the United States plans to donate an additional 500 million Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccines to the rest of the world
Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Ethan Miller

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