FDA Expected To Authorize Covid Booster Shots For People With Compromised Immune Systems Soon – Forbes

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Topline

Americans with compromised immune systems may be able to get a booster shot of a Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine soon, according to multiple news sites, amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

Key Facts

The Food and Drug Administration is likely to announce changes to Pfizer and Moderna’s emergency use authorizations this week to allow booster shots, sources familiar with the plan told NBC News and CNN.

A John Hopkins study on vaccinated immunocompromised people in July found that only half of the people studied who received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine showed an antibody response.

A recent Israeli study that administered booster shots to people with compromised immune systems found that the extra shot increased antibody levels.

The FDA tells Forbes it is “closely monitoring data” from studies of booster shots in people with compromised immune systems, and it is “evaluating potential options on this issue and will share information in the near future.” 

The CDC vaccine advisory committee is scheduled to meet Friday to discuss updates on additional Covid-19 vaccine doses for people who are immunocompromised.

NBC News first reported the expected announcement.

Key Background

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximates that about 2.7% of U.S. adults  are immunocompromised. People with immunocompromised systems, which includes those undergoing organ transplants or cancer treatment, are more susceptible to severe illness from Covid-19. With Covid-19 cases surging in multiple states, a CDC advisory group, met with the FDA last month to urge the agency to decide if booster shots were needed for people with compromised immune systems, according to NBC News.

Big Number

44%. That’s the percentage of people who were hospitalized due to breakthrough Covid-19 cases in a small U.S. study published in MedRxiv who were immunocompromised.

Further Reading

Among Fully Vaccinated, Breakthrough Covid-19 Infections Are More Common Than Previously Thought: Does It Matter? [Update] (Forbes)

Persistently Infected Covid-19 Patients: A Potential Source For New Variants (Forbes)

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