Mar. 26, 2022 -- Americans ages 50 and older will have the option of a second COVID-19 booster shot, which the Food and Drug Administration could authorize as early as early next week, The New York Times reported.
According to the Times, the Biden administration plans to offer a second booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA boosters for this age group without an explicit recommendation to get one.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the mRNA vaccines remain 78 percent effective four to five months after a third shot.
Pfizer and BioNTech have said that emerging data shows its booster protection against severe disease wanes in three to six months.
Though the CDC and FDA advisory committees met ahead of the first booster decision, there are reportedly no meetings planned ahead of this decision, the Times reported.
The Omicron subvariant BA.2 is on its way to becoming the dominant strain in the United States – now accounting for one in three sequenced cases – but public health officials are still unclear on whether that means a spike in cases for the United States.
Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post last Tuesday that, “Unless something changes dramatically,” a major surge is likely not in the cards.
Monica Gandhi, MD, an infectious disease doctor and medical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, told the Times that while healthy younger people with one booster still sufficiently protected, older people “should probably start receiving fourth shots now.”