The key Food and Drug Administration panel voted 19-0 Thursday in favor of recommending booster doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for a big percentage of the population.
The panel says the Moderna boosters are recommended for people over 65, people between the ages of 18 and 64 who are at high risk of severe COVID-19, and those who are at risk of serious COVID-19 exposure due to their jobs.
The population recommended for Moderna’s booster is the same population that Pfizer’s booster was authorized for last month.
The Biden administration has made boosters for all Americans a priority, even though experts are divided on whether the general population will really benefit. Ultimately, the way to end the COVID-19 pandemic is by getting shots to the unvaccinated, rather than boosting those who are already protected.
Moderna proposes to use a half-dose of the vaccine for a booster given at least six months after the prime dose, rather than an additional full dose like Pfizer recommended. This could result in a lower likelihood of side effects.