FDA could authorize boosters for all adults as early as Thursday

FDA aiming to authorize Pfizer booster doses for all adults as early as Thursday, sources say.

Ben Ariel ,

FDA building
FDA building

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aiming to authorize booster doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for all adults as early as Thursday, people familiar with the agency’s plans told The New York Times on Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s independent committee of vaccine experts has scheduled a meeting for Friday to discuss data on the booster dose’s efficacy and safety. If both the FDA and the CDC sign off this week, they will have acted a little more than a week after Pfizer asked for authorization of boosters for everyone 18 and older.

Under that scenario, any adult who received a second dose of the vaccine at least six months earlier would be officially eligible to get a booster as soon as this weekend.

The FDA is expected to rule without consulting its own expert panel, which has met frequently during the pandemic to review vaccine data and make a recommendation ahead of a regulatory decision, according to The New York Times.

In September, US authorities approved the booster doses of the Pfizer vaccines but only for Americans aged 65 and older, younger adults with underlying health conditions and those in jobs that put them at high risk for COVID-19.

Last month, the FDA’s advisory panel unanimously voted to recommend booster shots of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and those at high risk of severe illness or occupational exposure to the virus.

According to Tuesday’s report, Moderna is expected to soon submit its own request for the FDA to broaden eligibility for its booster.