(RxWiki News) Certain people may now get a second COVID-19 booster shot.
That's thanks to a recent authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This authorization applies only to older people and those with compromised immune systems — two groups thought to face a higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.
According to the FDA, new evidence has suggested that a second booster shot — for four shots in total in conjunction with the two-dose vaccine series — presents no new safety concerns and increases protection against the coronavirus.
“Current evidence suggests some waning of protection over time against serious outcomes from COVID-19 in older and immunocompromised individuals," said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a press release. "Based on an analysis of emerging data, a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine could help increase protection levels for these higher-risk individuals."
Specifically, the FDA authorized a second booster dose by amending the initial authorization of the first booster dose for all adults. Now, second booster doses of the Pfizer and Modern vaccines may be given to some individuals at least four months after they have received their first booster.
Second boosters are now approved for all adults who are at least 50 years old.
In younger people with certain conditions that lead to compromised immune systems, second Pfizer and Modern boosters are approved for different age groups. Immunocompromised children may receive the second Pfizer booster if they are at least 12 years old. And a second Moderna booster shot is now available to immunocompromised people who are at least 18 years old.
The FDA maintains that vaccines and booster shots are the most effective means of preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19. Talk to your health care provider about which vaccines and boosters you should receive.