FDA considers ‘booster’ for immunocompromised individuals

CDC Advisory Committee meets to discuss vaccine updates

A+COVID-19+mask+sits+on+top+of+a+PHS+staffs+vaccination+card.+Thursday%2C+Aug.+12%2C+the+Food+and+Drug+Administration+announced+that+they+expect+a+third+booster+vaccination+shot+to+be+approved+soon+for+individuals+with+compromised+immune+systems.+Friday%2C+Aug.+12%2C+the+Center+for+Disease+Control+and+Prevention+will+meet+to+discuss+booster+shots.

Amanda Hare

A COVID-19 mask sits on top of a PHS staff’s vaccination card. Thursday, Aug. 12, the Food and Drug Administration announced that they expect a third booster vaccination shot to be approved soon for individuals with compromised immune systems. Friday, Aug. 12, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will meet to discuss booster shots.

Amanda Hare, Executive Editor-in-Chief

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After the Food and Drug Administration announced that they expect for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for those who are immunocompromised, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Friday, Aug. 13, to discuss additional vaccine doses.

On Thursday, Aug. 12, the FDA announced that they are rapidly approaching approval of a third Pfizer and Moderna booster shot, which would be specifically for those with compromised immune systems. Following that announcement, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said in a press meeting on Thursday that everyone will be eligible to get a booster shot “sooner or later.”  Now, a CDC advisory committee will meet to discuss vaccine protocols and give recommendations.

“Emerging data show that certain people who are immune-compromised, such as people who have had an organ transplant as well as some cancer patients, may not have had an adequate immune response to just two doses of the COVID vaccine,” CDC head Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing. “FDA is working with Pfizer and Moderna to allow boosters for these vulnerable people. An additional dose could help increase protection for these individuals, which is especially important as the delta variant spreads.”

Immunocompromised individuals only make up 2.7% of the U.S. adult population, yet they make up 44% of hospitalized breakthrough COVID-19 cases. A breakthrough case occurs when a fully vaccinated individual gets the virus.

“Those (immunocompromised) individuals as a group never got a really good and adequate response to begin with,” Fauci said. “So we’re not talking about the durability of a good response that tends to wane. We’re talking about people who are in harm’s way because they’re at considerable risk because they are immunocompromised, in whom the vaccine regimen never really got them to the level you wanted to. That’s the reason for that additional boost, to try at least, in a proportion of them, to get them up into a safe, protective level.”

As for the rest of the population receiving a booster shot, Fauci said it will most likely take a while, however, it can always change.

“As we mentioned, we are evaluating this on a day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month basis, looking at any of a number of studies, both international and domestic studies,” Fauci said. “If the data shows us that, in fact, we do need to do that, we’ll be very ready to do it and do it expeditiously.”

A CDC advisory committee will meet to discuss booster vaccines and offer recommendations. In the meeting, the committee will hold a discussion and then vote.

“I’m not sure if I would get a booster shot,” Prosper resident Christine Hare said. “If it would only lessen my symptoms, I wouldn’t get it, but if it made me less likely to get it at all, I would.”

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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