US Authorizes Fourth Dose of COVID Vaccines for People 50 and Older
After a long time in the making, the fourth dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID vaccination is now available for U.S. citizens aged 50 and above. This new vaccination dose comes at a vital stage where the country is preparing for a possible new COVID surge which is driven by the BA.2 variant.
While no independent vaccine experts were consulted in The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to bring this new booster dose to market, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have backed it. As reported in online sources, “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement it had based its decision on emerging evidence that an additional booster, given four months after the last, improved protection against severe COVID and wasn’t associated with new safety concerns.”
Who is Now Eligible?
As commonly known with new vaccinations, those with immune-compromised conditions, who had already received four shots four months ago are eligible for their fifth dose. Others who are eligible are those over 50, as previously stated, and individuals with certain organ transplants.
“The Pfizer vaccine will be available to immune-compromised people aged 12 and over, while the Moderna vaccine will be available to those 18 and up,” suggests the news source. With waning protection over time, seniors and those with compromised immunities are encouraged to get this new shot as soon as possible.
Is this New Dose Safe?
According to health experts and the FDA, the extra shot has been found to be safe with no negative health impact expected. Rather, on the positive side, the shot saw “…antibody levels, including against the Delta and Omicron variants, were restored to high levels two weeks after their doses.”
In terms of the immune response generated, whether this additional dose restores the immune response to heightened levels or returns the antibody levels to where they were previously with prior shots is unknown. However, this safe shot, if anything, has a positive protection outcome for individuals.