Moderna just got a boost as a booster as experts advising the US Food and Drug Administration recommended the vaccine for use as a booster shot even for those over the age of 65 and at higher medical risk to Covid-19. The unanimous vote will likely lead to the FDA approving the recommendation and passing it to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention who would specify who should receive the shots in the US.
The recommendation was made on Thursday to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee of the FDA. The CDC is scheduled to meet next week where the topic will be discussed. They will also discuss the same recommendation for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Moderna’s stock prices jumped 3% after the vote in favour of using it as a booster shot for vulnerable demographics.
The FDA said testing shows that the Moderna booster does increase antibodies that protect against Covid-19, but not always by a wide enough amount to meet some standards, especially in people whose antibodies remained high.
Moderna is hoping to gain approval of a smaller-dose booster shot, half the normal 100-microgramme dose, which is still higher than the 30 microgramme dose Pfizer uses. The reduced dose would be given as a booster at least 6 months after the completion of the initial 2-dose vaccination.
President Biden announced the plan to give boosters in August, but US health officials haven’t approved many options for a third shot aside from Pfizer that was approved last month after convincing data from Israel on how it helped flatten the curve of the Covid-19 resurgence there.
9 million people in the US have received booster shots since Pfizer got approval. Covid-19 infections have fallen 12% and deaths have dropped 5% in the last week, but there are still around 1,250 deaths per day in the US.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World