TUESDAY, Nov. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Pfizer may soon seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency authorization of its COVID-19 booster shot for anyone aged 18 and older.
Officials familiar with the situation told the Washington Post that the request could be filed as soon as this week and is likely to be supported by the FDA, according to the three insiders who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue.
If approval is given, it would fulfill the Biden administration's plan to provide boosters for all adults and could increase booster rates at a critical point in the pandemic, the Post reported. Health officials have also said Americans can "mix-and-match" booster shots to increase antibodies to fight the coronavirus. People can get any one of the three booster doses, regardless of which shot they received first.
Under the recommendations, at least 179 million people, or 69 percent of the adult population, are eligible for boosters, according to administration officials, the Post said. Other estimates put the number even higher.
"Biologically, it makes sense" to need additional shots to get the greatest protection from the vaccines, Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious-disease physician at the University of California, San Francisco, told the Post.
He added that there is "some value" in young people getting a booster to protect older relatives as the holidays approach. That's especially true, he said, if the older person has an illness, such as some cancers, that makes it harder for the body to fight COVID-19 even with a vaccine.
Meanwhile, the country is still seeing more than 70,000 coronavirus cases a day and more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths a day, according to the newspaper's COVID-19 tracker.
In addition, federal health officials are concerned about increased spread of the virus during the holiday season as large numbers of people travel and gather indoors. State and federal health officials are worried about the states of Minnesota, Colorado, Arizona and Vermont, where cases have been rising.
Pfizer spokesman Kit Longley told the Post he had no update on boosters.
Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more on COVID vaccines.
SOURCE: Washington Post