FDA clears COVID boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for all U.S. adults

November 22, 2021

On Friday, November 19, U.S. health regulators cleared booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines from PfizerBioNTech and from Moderna  for all U.S. adults—widening the booster campaign as officials worry about a recent uptick in cases, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s decision essentially makes an additional dose a standard part of COVID vaccinations now, although some people in the United States had found ways to get boosters even if they weren’t eligible and some states widened eligibility.

Under the federal authorizations, people 18 and older could begin receiving the additional doses within days, should the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention give a positive recommendation shortly.

Supplies should be readily available, according to federal and state health officials. America has purchased a total of 600 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses and 500 million Moderna doses.

All adults who received a single dose Johnson & Johnson  vaccine  already have been declared eligible to get any booster.

“Streamlining the eligibility criteria and making booster doses available to all individuals 18 years of age and older will help to eliminate confusion about who may receive a booster dose and ensure booster doses are available to all who may need one,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA center that oversees vaccines.

The latest authorizations apply to adults at least six months past their second shot, whether they got the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine initially.

One more move remains before all adults can access Pfizer-BioNTech booster doses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue its own recommendation. The agency was expected to do so also on Friday, after its advisers review the matter earlier in the day.

Research contact: @WSJ