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Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have both recommended that certain immunocompromised people receive a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

Why it matters: Data suggest that people with weakened immune systems don't generate strong enough levels of protection against the virus with just two doses, but a third dose could significantly help.

Details: The booster shot will be authorized for "solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise," according to the FDA.

  • The third dose should be administered at least 28 days after the standard two-dose regimen of either Pfizer or Moderna is completed.

A CDC advisory panel agreed with the FDA, saying that the group getting the booster shot includes organ transplant recipients, cancer patients undergoing treatment, individuals with advanced or untreated HIV, among others.

  • The panel clarified that this is only applicable to those who have received Pfizer or Moderna shots, and the third should match what they previously received.

The big picture: Scientists have debated who should receive booster shots and when, as the highly contagious Delta variant drives up the number of new cases across the country.

  • About 2.7% of U.S. adults are immunocompromised, a group that encompasses people that are undergoing cancer treatment, living with HIV, or are organ transplant recipients, among others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • More than 1 million people in the U.S. have received unauthorized booster shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, according to an internal CDC briefing document obtained by ABC News.

Go deeper ... Biden's big COVID challenge: Fading vaccines may demand boosters

Go deeper

20 hours ago - Health

Illinois mandates daycare workers to receive COVID vaccine or weekly testing

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students in October 2018. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced Friday that all daycare workers in the state will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or or submit to weekly testing.

Driving the news: Pritzker said he was issuing the requirement to protect "babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine."

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5–11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, pending authorization from the FDA of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, and tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots.

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the FDA Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.