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United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for people whose immune systems are weakened

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Posted: Friday, August 13, 2021. 3:01 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it is authorizing a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine for people whose immune systems are weakened because of diseases, medical treatments or organ transplants, according to the United States National Public Radio.

The FDA decision follows studies which show that these people’s immunity may not be enough to counteract the serious complications caused by COVID-19 should they get infected.

“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised people are particularly at risk for severe disease,” said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock.

“After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines.”

On Thursday, the FDA made amendments to the emergency use authorizations allowing doctors to boost immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19.

Woodcock said that while people who are fully vaccinated are adequately protected and do not need an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time, the FDA is doing rigorous science-based studies along with their federal partners to consider whether an additional dose may be needed in the future.

The FDA said that people who are immunocompromised and those who have undergone solid organ transplant have a reduced ability to fight infection and other diseases and are particularly vulnerable to infections like COVID-19.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are administered as double shots. The second Pfizer vaccine is given after three weeks and the Moderna after a month. The FDA booster shot authorization allows for a third dose of those vaccines to be given to immunocompromised people at least 28 days after their second dose.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) immunization advisory committee is meeting Friday to review the scientific evidence supporting the FDA’s action. They are expected to decide if the CDC should recommend the additional dose for these people. The committee will also consider the need for a booster for people who are not immunocompromised.

Already come countries are administering a third dose to older people whose immunity declines faster than the rest of their populations.

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