The U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved Covid-19 vaccine for booster shoots for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. But just how effective are they, and who’ll have access to them?
Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine booster would be a third shot in addition to the two initial ones that people received previously from the company; this jab would be administered at least six months after the other two. The initial Pfizer vaccine is said to be 92 percent effective at preventing hospitalization, and the belief is that the booster will allow people to keep that level of efficacy over time as the initial shots wear off.
Currently, boosters are only available to three main groups of Americans who received their previous vaccines from Pfizer:
- People age 65 and older.
- People age 18 years or older who have a high risk of contracting severe COVID-19 symptoms.
- People age 18 years or older who may run a higher risk of coronavirus exposure or severe Covid-19 symptoms based on where they live or work. (For example, this includes people at nursing homes or folks who work in hospitality, healthcare, or schools.)
“Today’s action demonstrates that science and the currently available data continue to guide the FDA’s decision-making for COVID-19 vaccines during this pandemic,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD said in a statement. “After considering the totality of the available scientific evidence and the deliberations of our advisory committee of independent, external experts, the FDA amended the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for a booster dose in certain populations such as health care workers, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others.”
For now, there’s no word on if or when all Americans will eventually have access to this booster shot or if that’ll include people who previously received other types of Covid-19 vaccines. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control needs to make its final recommendation on booster shots. Still, it’s promising news that the country is heading in a positive direction!