FDA May Authorize Second Covid Booster for Adults 50 and Older

The Food and Drug Administration is likely to soon approve an extra Covid booster shot for everyone aged 50 and older. 

The FDA could approve the extra dose of the vaccination as soon as today, and make it eligible for anyone in the top age brackets who received their last booster shot at least four months ago. 

The additional booster is an effort to stop a new surge of infections that health experts fear is on its way, either from the Omicron cousin variant BA.2, or from another new variant that has not yet appeared. 

But some experts have questioned whether the focus on a fourth dose is the right method while many people in the United States still haven’t even received their first vaccinations.

Experts say that there are people who will benefit from a fourth jab, but the gap that needs prioritization is getting the first, second, and third shots to people who are over the age of 65 and the most vulnerable. 

Other experts say that older Americans are at a high risk of hospitalization and death from Covid, and therefore need to be authorized for the additional shot. 

Some have asked for evidence of whether a fourth shot would benefit healthier younger people. 

Data from other countries shows that there is a clear benefit of the fourth dose for people who are over the age of 70 or are immunocompromised, including those with organ transplants or who are active cancer patients. 

Those with immunocompromising conditions are now authorized to receive the fourth dose. 

The BA.2 variant is currently dominating the world and creating a surge in other countries. American health experts gauging the spikes in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, have warned the same is coming for the U.S. as it has in the past.

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