A third COVID-19 vaccine dose has been authorized for certain immunocompromised Americans. The FDA on Thursday amended the emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to allow a third dose for "solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise." That's thought to be about 3% of US adults, according to the CDC, whose immunization advisory committee will meet Friday to decide whether to recommend the additional dose for such people, who may produce too few antibodies in response to the usual two doses, reports NPR. Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock noted the change came amid "another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Israel, Germany, and France are already offering boosters to vulnerable groups, "while nations including Russia and the United Arab Emirates are giving them even more broadly," reports Bloomberg. Dr. Anthony Fauci backed third doses for the immunocompromised on Thursday and said the general population would likely need "a booster for durability of protection" in the future. "But right at this moment, apart from the immunocompromised ... we do not believe that others, elderly or nonelderly, who are not immunocompromised need [a third dose]," he said. The CDC committee will also evaluate booster shots for those who are not immunocompromised on Friday. However, the World Health Organization has said such vaccinations should be put off until at least the end of September as millions of people worldwide are still waiting on a first dose. (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)