FDA authorizes COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all adults

Jabs will be available to roll out as soon as this weekend.

On November 19, the FDA announced that all American adults are now eligible for a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The agency has amended the emergency use authorization of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to allow people over the age of 18 to receive another jab. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the agency’s recommendations and said the boosters would be available immediately.

“COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be the best and highly effective defense against COVID-19,” said FDA acting commissioner Janet Woodcock in a statement. She added that the booster dose will provide continued protection against hospitalization and death. 

Booster doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have already been approved for all adults. Previously, the FDA had only authorized third jabs of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for people age 65 and older and people at risk of severe disease, such as adults with underlying conditions or in high-risk jobs. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in today’s statement that the decision to make Moderna and Pfizer boosters available will help to eliminate confusion about who can receive a booster dose.

Stay up to date and read more on the latest COVID-19 developments here.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the CDC’s decision.

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