March 29 (UPI) — The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved a second booster shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or one offered by Moderna for those 50 and old and those with compromised immune systems.
The measure, which still needs to be approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only applies to the two vaccines.
“Emerging evidence suggests that a second booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against severe COVID-19 and is not associated with new safety concerns,” the FDA said in a statement.
The FDA said the second booster of the vaccine may be administered at least four months after receipt of a first booster. The agency added that a second booster dose can be given to individuals 12 years of age and older who are immunocompromised.
“Based on an analysis of emerging data, a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine could help increase protection levels for these higher-risk individuals,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.
“Additionally, the data show that an initial booster dose is critical in helping to protect all adults from the potentially severe outcomes of COVID-19. So, those who have not received their initial booster dose are strongly encouraged to do so.”
The FDA said it will continue to evaluate data and information as it becomes available on the potential use of a second booster dose in other age groups.