Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted unanimously in support of third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for patients who are 65 years of age and older or who are at high risk of severe COVID-19. Eligible patients will receive the booster shot at least six months after completion of the two-dose primary series.
The committee initially met to decide whether to allow the administration of third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine broadly to those over the age of 16. However, that vote did not pass and the committee moved to consider the question of allowing third doses for specific populations.
Before the meeting concluded, VRBPAC members and FDA staff continued to discuss recommendations for populations that may benefit from a third Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 dose, such as individuals at high risk of occupational exposure. This discussion will help inform the FDA's final decision on third-dose authorization and will also be considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The ACIP is scheduled to meet Sept. 22 and 23.