FDA authorizes 3rd COVID vaccine dose for immunocompromised individuals

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended the emergency use authorizations for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

The authorizations now allow for the use of an additional vaccine dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, specifically solid organ transplant recipients or those who have been diagnosed with conditions that place them at an equivalent level of immunocompromise.

Other fully vaccinated individuals currently do not need an additional vaccine dose.

The FDA evaluated information on a third dose of the vaccines in individuals with compromised immune systems and determined that a third dose may increase protection. The administration said these patients should be counseled to maintain physical precautions to help prevent COVID-19.

Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals should get vaccinated to increase protection for this population, according to a statement by the FDA. The agency also recommends that immunocompromised individuals discuss monoclonal antibody treatment options with their healthcare provider should they contract or be exposed to COVID-19.

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