A medical staff prepares a booster dose of Pfizer’s disease vaccine against the coronavirus (COVID-19) and is seen at a vaccination center in Brussels, Belgium, January 5, 2022.
Yves Herman | Reuters
Pfizer and BioNTech are expected to seek US approval this week for a second Covid-19 vaccine booster for people over 65, according to a person familiar with the plans.
If the Food and Drug Administration approves, the additional injection would go to a group of people who are among those at highest risk of serious illness and death from Covid.
The FDA has authorized booster shots for anyone 12 years and older on an emergency use basis.
Several studies have shown that protection against the initial booster dose begins to decline after a few months, especially against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, said Friday the company was close to submitting data to the FDA on a fourth dose of its vaccine after its scientists found that the protection of the first booster began to wane after three or four months. .
The news was first reported by The Washington Post, which said Pfizer could apply for approval as early as Tuesday.
The FDA and Pfizer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 12 years and older receive a booster five months after their second injection of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine .
According to data from the CDC, more than 66 percent of Americans age 65 and older who are eligible for a booster have received one.
If the additional Pfizer booster is approved, it’s unclear whether any eligible person who wants a second booster can get one — the U.S. government currently only has enough doses for immunocompromised people to receive a fourth shot, it said a senior official Tuesday.
Health experts have said additional shots will likely be needed, although it’s still unclear when and how often.
Experts also still don’t know if everyone needs an extra dose, but it makes sense that the elderly get their injections first, said Dr. Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University.
“Because we already know that their immune systems don’t work as well and they are at greater risk for serious disease,” she said.
This post Pfizer requests approval for 2nd Covid booster for over-65s
was original published at “https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/15/pfizer-to-seek-authorization-for-2nd-covid-booster-for-people-65-and-older.html”