Moderna vaccine
Moderna vaccineReuters

Drugmaker Moderna on Thursday asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize a fourth shot of its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose for all adults, The Associated Press reported.

The request is broader than rival pharmaceutical company Pfizer's request earlier this week for the regulator to approve a booster shot for all seniors.

In a press release quoted by AP, the company said its request for approval for all adults was made “to provide flexibility” to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and medical providers to determine the “appropriate use” of a second booster dose of the mRNA vaccine, “including for those at higher risk of COVID-19 due to age or comorbidities."

Moderna has also been holding a clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot that is specific to the Omicron variant.

Last month, the CEO of Moderna told Reuters that the Omicron-specific booster could be ready by August, but the firm is still gathering clinical data to determine whether that vaccine would offer better protection than a new dose of the existing jab.

Pfizer and BioNTech have also recently begun enrollment for a clinical trial to test the safety and immune response of their Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine in adults aged up to 55.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in January that the vaccine that targets the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will be ready in March, and the company has already begun manufacturing the doses.