Pfizer and BioNTech have asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to greenlight a fourth dose of their COVID-19 vaccine for Americans 65 and older, citing data from Israel suggesting that the additional booster could curb infections and severe illness in the highest-risk age group.
In an analysis of records from the Israeli Ministry of Health, Pfizer and BioNTech said that rates of severe illness from COVID-19 were 4 times lower among people who got a second booster at least four months after their first.
Also, Moderna announced Thursday that it has asked the FDA for authorization for a second Covid-19 booster shot for everyone 18 and older.
FDA spokesperson Abby Capobianco said the agency has received the Pfizer request and plans to review it “as expeditiously as possible using our thorough and science based approach.”
“The hope would be that after our third shots we’re able to get enough time out of them that we end up on essentially a yearly COVID-19 booster,” Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s top vaccines official, told attendees at an event hosted by the University of California San Francisco and Stanford University in January.
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