mRNA Vaccine Booster Shots Authorized for Adults

Adults should receive a third mRNA vaccination in the U.S.
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Atlanta (Precision Vaccinations)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., announced her endorsement of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) expanded COVID-19 vaccination recommendation on November 19, 2021.

Booster vaccinations, third doses, are now authorized for all adults ages 18 years and older, who received an mRNA vaccine, at least six months after their second dose.

“After critical scientific evaluation, today’s unanimous ACIP decision carefully considered the current state of the pandemic, the latest vaccine effectiveness data over time, and review of safety data from people who have already received a COVID-19 primary vaccine series and booster.”

“Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against severe outcomes.” 

“And they are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus as we enter the winter holidays.”

“Based on the compelling evidence, all adults ‘should’ now have equitable access to a COVID-19 booster dose,” added Dr. Walensky.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authorization was also announced on November 19.

“The FDA has determined that the currently available data support expanding the eligibility of a single booster dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to individuals 18 years of age and older,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a press release.

“Streamlining the eligibility criteria …  will also help to eliminate confusion about who may receive a booster dose and ensure booster doses are available to all who may need one.”

Led by the chair of the ACIP, Dr. Grace Lee and the CDC staff stated they are 'unaware of the potential benefit of booster doses on reducing SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus transmission. But third vaccine protection remains high for severe disease.'

Additionally, during the ACIP meeting on Nov. 19, Dr. Tom Shimabukiro's presented booster vaccination surveillance findings from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) monitoring.

The VAERS system includes unverified reports regardless of the plausibility of the vaccine causing the event or the clinical seriousness of the event.

The VAERS data found most reports (≥93%) were non-serious; Almost half of the reports were among persons ≥65 years of age; two-thirds in females; No unusual patterns were observed concerning reports of deaths following COVID-19 booster vaccination. There were 82 initial reports of death submitted to VAERS.

And there have been 54 preliminary reports of myocarditis and myopericarditis submitted by November 5, 2021. But, only 12 case reports met the CDC case definition.

Based on data from Israel, myocarditis risk after a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine appears to fall between rates seen after dose one and dose 2.

During the conclusion of the ACIP digital meeting, the CDC's Sara Oliver, MD, MSPH, presented the final 'Updates to the Evidence to Recommendation Framework: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster doses.'

The CDC statement continues saying…’We also strongly encourage those who were already eligible ­– older populations and individuals with underlying medical conditions ­– to get boosted before the holidays.’

‘Anyone can find available vaccines near them at and consult their health care provider or local pharmacist if they have questions about vaccines or boosters.’

PrecisionVaccinations publishes fact-checked research-based vaccine news.