FDA Takes Action to Expand COVID Vaccine Use

FDA expands use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine with various actions

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently took several actions to expand the use of one of the COVID-19 vaccines.

These actions are part of the FDA's ongoing efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

To accomplish that goal, the FDA made changes to the emergency use authorization (EUA) it issued for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

“Throughout the pandemic, as the virus that causes COVID-19 has continuously evolved, the need for the FDA to quickly adapt has meant using the best available science to make informed decisions with the health and safety of the American public in mind,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock, in a press release. “With the current wave of the omicron variant, it’s critical that we continue to take effective, life-saving preventative measures such as primary vaccination and boosters, mask wearing and social distancing in order to effectively fight COVID-19.”

Specifically, the FDA approved three changes to the EUA for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine:

  1. Booster dose for younger recipients. The FDA has approved the Pfizer vaccine as a booster shot for children between the ages of 12 and 15.
  2. Less time between vaccination and booster. Those who received the two-dose Pfizer vaccine may now get their booster shot at least five months after the second dose instead of six months.
  3. Third primary dose for children with immune issues. Children ages 5 to 11 who have had an organ transplant or face a similarly immune-compromising issue may now receive a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine as part of their primary vaccination series.

If you have questions about any of the COVID-19 vaccines or related recommendations, speak with your community pharmacist or doctor.

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Review Date: 
January 10, 2022