Furthermore, the agency is allowing a "mix and match" approach to boosters for those who are eligible to receive one — meaning a person can get a booster from a manufacturer different than their original dose.
"Today's actions demonstrate our commitment to public health in proactively fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic," acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., said in a statement on Wednesday.
"As the pandemic continues to impact the country, science has shown that vaccination continues to be the safest and most effective way to prevent COVID-19, including the most serious consequences of the disease, such as hospitalization and death" Woodcock continued. "The available data suggest waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated. The availability of these authorized boosters is important for continued protection against COVID-19 disease."
Getty A medical professional giving a vaccine shot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also updated its guidance on boosters.
As part of the emergency authorization, the FDA allowed a Moderna booster shot to be administered to individuals six months after they have been fully vaccinated. Individuals eligible to receive the booster include people 65 years of age and older, anyone older than 18 who is at high risk of severe COVID-19, and those 18 and over who are at risk of COVID-19 due to high exposure at their job.
Meanwhile, those 18 years and older who initially received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine may seek a booster two months after their initial inoculation.
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"The amendments to the emergency use authorizations to include a single booster dose in eligible populations are based on the available data and information and follows the input from the members of our advisory committee who were supportive of the use of a booster dose of these vaccines in eligible populations," said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
"We are also taking action today to include the use of mix and match boosters to address this public health need," Marks added. "We will work to accrue additional data as quickly as possible to further assess the benefits and risks of the use of booster doses in additional populations and plan to update the healthcare community and public with our determination in the coming weeks."
The latest authorization comes weeks after the FDA authorized a booster shot for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine among at-risk populations.
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