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FDA permits third vaccine dose for immunocompromised people

FDA permits third vaccine dose for immunocompromised people

Posted August. 14, 2021 07:13,   

Updated August. 14, 2021 07:13


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved on Thursday booster dosing of the COVID-19 vaccines for immunocompromised people, including those who have undergone organ transplant and cancer patients. Booster dosing is limited only to immunocompromised people, but the U.S. drug regulator has thus admitted to the need for a booster shot.

Up until a month ago, the FDA’s official stance was that people who completed vaccination do not require booster dosing. Israel started booster dosing for the first time in the world on July 12, while the U.K. will start administering a booster shot for 32 million people including those aged 50 and older from Sept. 6, as countries are speeding up booster dosing.

The FDA said Thursday that if immunocompromised people took the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, they will be allowed to take a booster shot at least 28 days after the second dose. The FDA has not approved additional dosing for ordinary people. The agency stopped short of mentioning whether to permit a booster shot for people who were vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine.

“Today’s decision will enable immunocompromised people who need additional protection against COVID-19 to boost their immunity,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement on the day. “People who have been vaccinated (and whose immunity remains strong) do not need to take an extra dose at this point in time.” However, as the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to spread and cases have soared recently, there is a chance that the scope of people eligible for a booster dose will expand.

“We have already started to see signs of vaccines’ protection waning,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under the U.S. National Institutes of Health, told CBS on the day. “At one point, all people may need a booster shot.”

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com