The Biden administration is reportedly set to recommend COVID booster shots for people as young as 40 who received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
An unnamed source familiar with the matter told CNN on Tuesday that a recommendation for people as young as 40 to get the booster shot could be coming soon, as there is ‘growing concern within the FDA’ that US data is beginning to show an increase in hospitalizations among people younger than 65 who have been fully vaccinated.
So far, the Food and Drug Administration has only recommended booster doses to those who are 65 or older, those who are at high-risk of severe COVID symptoms and those who live or work in a high-risk environment and have received the Pfizer vaccine.
About 10.7 million people throughout the country have already received one of these booster doses, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control, including about 15 percent of those 65 and up.
The United States federal government is reportedly set to recommend COVID booster shots for people as young as 40 who received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine
So far, booster shots are only authorized for those who are 65 and older, or are at high-risk and have received the Pfizer vaccine
But that number may soon increase, as advisers to the FDA have recently recommended that those in high-risk groups who got the Moderna vaccine instead of the Pfizer shot should also be allowed to get a booster dose.
They also recommended on Friday that all adults who got the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine get a booster at least two months after the first shot.
The FDA is now reportedly considering those recommendations, and is expected to allow people to receive a booster made by a company that is different than the one that made the vaccine they initially received, The New York Times reports.
The decision comes after researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) presented data at an FDA advisory committee meeting on Friday showing people who got Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine had higher antibody levels if they get a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster shot.
The report found that when recipients of the one-shot J&J vaccine received a second dose, their antibody levels increased four-fold over two weeks.
Comparatively, when they received a Moderna booster, their antibody levels spiked 76-fold over the same time period.
A booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine also raised antibody levels 45-fold over the course of two weeks – higher than the J&J shot, but not as high as the Moderna shot.
What’s more, the Moderna booster was also found to raise antibody levels higher in Pfizer recipients.
Americans who received two doses of the Pfizer saw their antibody levels increase 21-fold after a third Pfizer shot.
The NIH presented data last week showing that THE J&J booster raised antibody levels in J&J recipients four-fold (left) over two weeks while Pfizer’s booster raised levels 45-fold (right) and the Moderna booster spiked levels 76-fold (center)
Moderna’s booster was also found to raise antibody levels higher among Pfizer recipients than Pfizer’s third dose – 32 fold (center) compared to 21-fold (right)
But those given the Moderna booster had antibody levels raised 32-fold over the span of 14 days.
NIH researchers warned that the study was based on a small group of about 450 original- much smaller than the original COVID-19 trials that saw 30,000 people enrolled.
And only antibody levels were measured, which are only part of the immune response, and the trial wasn’t meant to compare groups.
‘The neutralizing antibodies did increase in response to any boost, irregardless of the primary vaccination series,’ said Dr. Kirsten Lyke, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who presented the data at the Friday meeting.
The announcement that the federal government is considering expanding the age range for booster doses comes jut one day after former Secretary of State Colin Powell died of complications from the coronavirus, despite being fully-vaccinated, as he was immunocompromised with blood cancer
The announcement that the federal government is considering expanding the age range for booster doses comes just one day after the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Powell died on Monday of complications of the coronavirus at the age of 84, despite being fully vaccinated.
But he had blood cancer, which suppresses the body’s immune response, and Parkinson’s Disease, which does not increase the risk of COVID, but ‘does make it harder for you to recover if you contract it,’ according to the nonprofit Parkinson’s Foundation.
The CDC maintains that vaccines are effective in preventing serious injury and death due to COVID.
But, it notes: ‘Some people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will get sick because no vaccine is 100 percent effective.’
As of October 12, more than 187 million people had been fully vaccinated, according to CDC data, but just 7,178 breakthrough infections had been reported,
That amounts to 0.004 of those fully vaccinated having a breakthrough infection resulting in death. Among them, 85 percent were people age 65 and older, according to the CDC.
In total, there have been more than 44.9 million COVID cases reported in the United States since the pandemic began, with a total of 726,206 deaths.
The numbers have been decreasing since the FDA authorized the use of vaccines last year, with just 51,249 new COVID cases reported nationwide on Monday and 929 reported deaths, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.
Meanwhile, 66 percent of all eligible Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and 57.1 percent are fully vaccinated.