BOSTON (CBS) – The FDA has authorized an extra COVID-19 dose for immunocompromised people for whom two doses of the vaccine might not be enough protection. The third dose would be for people who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
“It is imminent that we will be giving it to immune compromised,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, told CBS This Morning on Thursday.
The FDA amended the emergency use authorizations for both vaccines, “to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, specifically, solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.”
The CDC has to formally recommend the boosters in order for providers to start vaccinating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet Friday to discuss further clinical recommendations regarding immunocompromised individuals.
About 3-percent of Americans adults have compromised immune systems.
Thursday’s action does not apply to people who are not immunocompromised. Dr. Fauci said it’s likely that everyone will need a booster at some point.
“We don’t feel at this particular point that, apart from the immune compromised, we don’t feel we need to give boosters right now. But, importantly, we are following this in real time, literally on a weekly and monthly basis, we’re following cohorts of individuals, elderly, younger individuals, people in nursing homes to determine if, in fact, the level of protection is starting to attenuate. And when it does get to a certain level, we will be prepared to give boosters to those people,” Fauci told CBS.
If you’re eligible for a booster shot Dr. Fauci said it’s preferable you go with the same brand of vaccine you originally received.
“You’ll be hearing instructions about that from the FDA, through the CDC and the advisory committee on immunization practices. So there will be guidance when that time occurs,” he said.