It was the next required step after the FDA expanded the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines on Thursday night. The meeting also revealed much more about who will qualify for an additional dose.
The independent panel of outside experts were in complete agreement that the immunocompromised may benefit from a third dose of an mRNA vaccine. Some of the conditions that will qualify include, those being actively treated for cancer, organ transplant recipients, stem cell transplant recipients, moderate or severe immunodeficiency syndromes, advanced or untreated HIV, and those receiving certain medications that suppress their immune systems.
Health officials said the third dose should be given at least 28 days after the second dose. It’s recommended to get the same vaccine received previously, if possible. The authorization does not include those who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine due to lack of data.
The CDC said currently there is no data to support the use of an additional mRNA vaccine dose after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Officials are actively working to provide guidance on the issue.
The panel cautioned that there will be people in those groups who do not sufficiently respond to a third dose. Experts cautioned that immunocompromised people still need to be cautious and recommend surrounding themselves with vaccinated people.