The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a 5th COVID-19 booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna jab for people aged over 50 and some immunocompromised individuals.
The FDA had previously authorized a single booster dose for certain immunocompromised individuals following completion of a three-dose primary vaccination series.
The new approval will now make a second booster dose of these injections available to other populations at higher risk for severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
US FDA approves fifth Covid vaccine booster shots for 50 and older https://t.co/cjBF6q1O2v
— Trudy Seivwright MD (@SeivwrightTrudy) May 10, 2022
Business Standard reported:
The fifth booster can be administered to individuals 50 years of age and older at least 4 months after receipt of a fourth booster dose of any authorised or approved Covid vaccine.
Individuals 12 years of age and older with weaker immune systems such as those who have undergone solid organ transplantation are also eligible for the shots at least 4 months after receipt of a fifth booster dose.
The current vaccines were developed against the original virus that emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019, and their effectiveness has declined over time as the virus mutates. The FDA stated that emerging evidence suggests that a fifth booster dose of an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine improves protection against severe Covid and is not associated with new safety concerns.
“Current evidence suggests some waning of protection over time against serious outcomes from Covid-19 in older and immunocompromised individuals. Based on an analysis of emerging data, a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine could help increase protection levels for these higher-risk individuals,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Centre for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a statement.
On the other hand, the World Health Organization said there was ‘no good evidence’ a 4th COVID-19 jab dose is beneficial.