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FDA Panel Votes on Moderna Boosters

Image Credit: CNBC

By: Virginia Riddle

Oct. 14: A panel of medical experts for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have voted in favor of the Moderna requests to make booster shots for COVID-19 vaccinations publicly available.

The vote was unanimous, with all 19 panel members supporting a booster vaccine for eligible individuals who had their second dose of Moderna at least 6 months prior. Those recommended for the boosters would be individuals over 65, as well as any other individual who is at high risk for contracting COVID-19 due to health or work status. The FDA will likely decide what to do based on the vote within the next few days.

Currently, America is still seeing tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases, and is experiencing nearly 2,000 deaths per day as well. The FDA’s decision regarding booster shots is looked upon favorably by the Biden administration because of these startling numbers. However, the administration has still made it clear that stopping the spread of the virus is primarily achieved through vaccinating mass amounts of citizens for the first time. Biden’s support of the vaccination boosters is reflected when he refers to them as, “free, available and convenient.”

There was some pushback during the discussion of Moderna booster availability because cases are currently declining without the third shot. This was met with the argument that the FDA had allowed boosters for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. This made it difficult to deny Moderna recipients the same opportunity.

The panel is articulate about not supporting eligibility for booster shots outside of the risk groups that already qualify for the Pfizer booster. This was not a voting issue during the panel meeting. However, the panel did express that it would be difficult to mediate future eligibility.

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