MONDAY, Oct. 4, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for people aged 18 and older have been given the green light by the European Medicines Agency.
They "may be considered at least six months after the second dose for people aged 18 years and older," the European Union's drug regulator said Monday, the Associated Press reported.
The advice is based on data showing that a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine about six months after the second dose increases antibody levels in all people aged 18 to 55.
The agency also gave its backing to an additional dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to people with severely weakened immune systems at least 28 days after their second dose of the vaccines. A third dose is not considered a booster shot in this scenario, the agency noted.
Health authorities in all 27 EU nations will receive the recommendations. Some have already started giving booster shots to their citizens, the AP reported.
Last month, the U.S. government began to provide boosters of Pfizer's vaccine to millions of high-risk Americans, even as federal health officials emphasized the need to get first doses into the arms of unvaccinated people.
The head of the World Health Organization has said there is no scientific data showing that booster shots are necessary, and that COVID-19 vaccines would be better used in developing countries where many people still haven't received their first shots, the AP reported.
Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more on COVID vaccines.
SOURCE: Associated Press