Moderna seeks approval for second booster

Moderna Inc on late Thursday (March 17) sought emergency use authorization.


Moderna Inc. late Thursday (March 17) sought emergency approval from U.S. health authorities for a second COVID -19 booster vaccination, as a surge in cases in some parts of the world stokes fears of another wave of the pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A pharmacist holds a vial of the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in West Haven, Connecticut, U.S., February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo/File Photo

The U.S. biotechnology company said its request covers all adults over the age of 18 so that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health care providers can determine the appropriate use of an additional booster dose of its vaccine, including for those at higher risk for COVID -19 due to age or disease.

Moderna’s application is much broader than the one Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE submitted to U.S. regulators earlier this week for a second booster vaccine for people 65 and older.

Moderna did not comment specifically on the effectiveness of a fourth shot. The application is based in part on data recently published in the United States and Israel following the emergence of the Omicron variant.

The FDA did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

U.S. health officials, including leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, have raised the prospect of a fourth vaccination, particularly for the elderly and to prepare for the possibility of a further increase in cases.

Data from the CDC have shown that the vaccine’s effectiveness declines over time, and a third vaccination helps restore it. However, CDC has not published comprehensive data based on age or health status to support this case.

The news was first reported by The New York Times.

While cases of COVID are declining in the United States and much of the world, infections are increasing in China. In the United Kingdom and Europe, the downward trend of COVID cases has reversed as economies have opened up and the second variant of Omicron has circulated.

Reuters (Production: Pavithra George)


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