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Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Tuesday that they have asked the Food and Drug Administration to expand authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine booster to include anyone 18 and older.

Why it matters: If the FDA agrees, it could significantly increase the number of people eligible for a booster.

  • Currently, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna recipients are eligible to receive a booster six months after their second dose if they are 65 and older or an adult at high risk of severe infection.
  • All Johnson & Johnson recipients over the age of 18 are eligible to receive a booster two months after receiving their first shot.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also said people can choose what vaccine they want as their booster.

The big picture: Pfizer and BioNTech said their submission was based on efficacy and safety data from a Phase 3 randomized, controlled trial with more than 10,000 participants.

  • "Data show a favorable safety profile and relative vaccine efficacy of 95% against COVID-19 compared to the two-dose schedule during a period when Delta was the prevalent strain," the companies said.

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Health

COVID vaccines of the future might not be shots

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As vaccine makers pursue the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines, some are working to develop products that wouldn't require a shot.

Why it matters: Delivering a vaccine through a pill or a nasal spray could make them much easier to administer, especially in places where distribution is challenging — or even for people who just don't like needles.

Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. to mandate vaccines for anyone who crosses borders starting in January — Shots lagged data by months — The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort.
  2. Health: The Thanksgiving bouncers — Axios-Ipsos poll: Thanksgiving roulette — Experts criticize CDC's language on vaccine boosters — America's Thanksgiving gamble.
  3. Politics: Biden administration asks appeals court to reinstate vaccine mandate — Michigan recommends face masks for all residents amid surge.
  4. Education: A COVID strategy backfires at schools — Schools across the U.S. offer vaccine drivesBenefits of in-person school outweigh risks, study finds.
  5. World: EU drug regulator recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids — Italy announces new COVID restrictions for unvaccinated people — European health agency urges expanding booster shot access.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

NY declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron COVID variant

Governor Kathy Hochul makes an announcement about a new plan transforming Penn Station on Nov. 3, 2021. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases and the newly-identified Omicron variant of the virus.

Driving the news: The declaration enables the state to acquire supplies to fight a potential surge in cases, increase hospital capacity and combat potential staff shortages, NBC's local affiliate reports.