MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Protection offered by COVID-19 vaccine decreases over time, and the Alabama Department of Public Health cautions that even in times of low community transmission, the risk for older and immunocompromised persons to become severely ill with COVID-19 is not zero.
In order to maintain the highest level of protection from vaccinations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for individuals ages 50 and older and certain immunocompromised individuals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also updated its recommendations for expanded booster eligibility, as described in a recent news release:https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/s0328-covid-19-boosters.html. Adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
The FDA previously authorized a single booster dose for certain immunocompromised individuals following completion of a three-dose primary vaccination series. This action will now make a second booster dose of these vaccines available to other populations at higher risk for severe disease, hospitalization and death. Emerging evidence suggests that a second booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against severe COVID-19 and is not associated with new safety concerns.
FDA amended the emergency use authorizations as follows:
· A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered to individuals 50 years of age and older at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
· A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered to individuals 12 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise at least four months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. These are people who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who are living with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.
· A second booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered at least four months after the first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older with the same certain kinds of immunocompromise.
For some immunocompromised persons, this will be a fifth dose of vaccine (three for the primary series and two booster doses). This authorization applies only to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and the authorization of a single booster dose for other age groups with these vaccines remains unchanged.
The FDA has determined that the known and potential benefits of a second COVID-19 vaccine booster dose with either of these vaccines outweigh their known and potential risks in these populations.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit: https://www.alab.