FDA authorizes third vaccine jab for immunocompromised individuals

Announcement only applies to mRNA doses at this point

The FDA yesterday amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for both Pfizer-BioNTech's and Moderna's Covid-19 vaccines to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised people, specifically, solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have the same level of immunocompromise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices was scheduled to meet today to discuss further clinical recommendations concerning immunocompromised individuals.

At this point, it is important to note that this third dose does not currently apply to people who are not immunocompromised. Further, the booster is only available for the mRNA vaccines; being that it is a third shot, individuals must receive the same dose that they were administered for the first two. There is yet to be an announcement surrounding the use of the Johnson and Johnson’s jab in this capacity.

The administration’s rationale is that people who are immunocompromised in a manner similar to those who have undergone solid organ transplantation have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases, and they are especially vulnerable to infections, including Covid. FDA assessed data on the use of a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines in these individuals and determined that the administration of third vaccine doses may increase protection in this specific population.