In a statement, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. noted the added protection this move will provide for all U.S. adults amid the ongoing pandemic.
“Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has worked to make timely public health decisions as the pandemic evolves,” Woodcock said Friday. “COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be the best and highly effective defense against COVID-19. Authorizing the use of a single booster dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older helps to provide continued protection against COVID-19, including the serious consequences that can occur, such as hospitalization and death.”
The announcement, which came as Pfizer and Moderna shared their own statements regarding the update, means that the FDA has amended the emergency use authorizations for vaccines by authorizing the use of a single booster dose for anyone 18 years of age and older, following completion of their initial vaccination.
Also on Friday, an immunizations-focused CDC committee will hold a meeting during which “further clinical recommendations” will be discussed. Per the Associated Press, the CDC still has to give the their formal go-ahead for expanded distribution of the boosters.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the company was “grateful” for the FDA’s decision. “With boosters, more adults will now have the opportunity to help preserve a high-level of protection against this disease,” Bourla said.
Meanwhile, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel noted that the amended emergency use authorization arrives at a “critical time” for those in the U.S. “We thank the FDA for their review, and are confident in the robust clinical evidence that a 50 µg booster dose of mRNA-1273 induces a strong immune response against COVID-19,” Bancel said.
Per the most current CDC data, about 196 million people in the U.S. (or around 59 percent of the total population) are now fully vaccinated. That number jumps to 228 million when expanded to encompass those who have received at least one dose.
Somehow still not vaccinated? Cease the abject fuckery and make an appointment.