The FDA determined that individuals with weakened immune systems — which include patients with cancer — may benefit from a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for administration in certain individuals with weakened immune systems.
“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised people are particularly at risk for severe disease. After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines,” Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a news release.
The FDA announced that individuals with weakened immune systems, similar to those who have received solid organ transplants, have a reduced ability to fight infections and are more likely to become infected with viruses including COVID-19.
The agency based its decision on information that showed that a booster dose of the vaccines may increase protection against COVID-19 among those with weakened immune systems, including patients with cancer.
“Today’s action allows doctors to boost immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19,” Woodcock said. “As we’ve previously stated, other individuals who are fully vaccinated are adequately protected and do not need an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time. The FDA is actively engaged in a science-based, rigorous process with our federal partners to consider whether an additional dose may be needed in the future.”
For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.
Check back later on what you need to know about this decision from the FDA.