FDA Backs Pfizer Booster for Seniors, Others at High Risk for Serious COVID-19

The next step is for the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to make a decision on whether to add a COVID-19 booster to its recommendations

As expected, the FDA has come out in a favor of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shoot for people ages 65 and older and adults in highr isk groups

The agency followed the advice of an outside advisory committee, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, that voted last week for more limited use of the booster shot than had been envisioned by the Biden administration.

The FDA announced this evening that the agency had extended an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer vaccine to allow a single booster shot to be given. The FDA said the booster shouldn’t be given till at least six months after the initial two-shot series of the Pfizer vaccine has been completed.

The drug regulator said booster can be given to people in three groups:

  • Those 65 and older
  • Adults, ages 18 to 64, who are at high-risk for suffering a severe case of COVID-19
  • Adults, ages 18 to 64, whose “frequent institutional or occupational exposure” toration the SARS-CoV-2 virus puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19.

This summer, Biden administration floated the idea of all adults getting a booster, although it also indicated that it would follow the decisions of the and CDC.

The FDA’s EUA doesn’t set federal vaccine policy; the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) does. The ACIP committee met today to discuss the booster shoot and is scheduled to meet again tomorrow. According to the Associated Press, some of the members of the committee suggested putting off a decision for a month in hopes that more definitive evidence about the booster will become available.