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FDA Panel Supports Lower Dose Modern COVID Booster Vaccine

US health advisers said Thursday that some Americans who received the COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna should receive a half-dose booster to bolster protection against the virus.

The Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously to recommend a booster shot for seniors, adults with other health problems, jobs, or life situations that put them at higher risk for COVID-19.

The recommendation is not binding, but it is a key step in expanding the US boost campaign to millions more Americans. Many people who received their initial Pfizer injections at least six months ago are already receiving a booster after the FDA authorized its use last month.

Regarding the dose, Moderna’s initial vaccination consists of two injections of 100 micrograms. But Moderna says a single 50-microgram injection should be enough for a booster.

The agency convened its experts Thursday and Friday to assess who should get boosters and when for the people who received the injections from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson earlier this year.

The FDA will use the recommendations of its advisers to make final decisions about reinforcements for both companies. Assuming a positive decision, there is still another hurdle: Next week, a panel convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will offer more details on who should receive one.

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