Nov 19, 2021 - Health

FDA endorses Pfizer, Moderna COVID boosters for all adults

A healthcare worker administers a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a senior living facility in Worcester, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.
A health care worker administers a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine at a senior living facility in Worcester, Pa., in August. Photo: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday endorsed booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for anyone 18 and older.

Why it matter: The move could dramatically increase the number of Americans who are eligible to receive a booster by tens of millions.

Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's independent committee of vaccine experts is scheduled to meet on Friday. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will then need to OK the booster shots.

  • If the CDC committee green lights the booster, American adults who received a second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine at least six months ago could begin receiving a booster as early as this weekend.

The big picture: Pfizer earlier this month asked the FDA to expand authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine booster to Americans who are 18 and older.

  • Currently, the only Americans who are technically eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna boosters are people 65 and older or adults at high risk of severe infection.
  • More than 32 million people have already received a booster dose, according to CDC data.

Go deeper: Pfizer-BioNTech seek FDA authorization for COVID boosters for all adults

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