Vaccination against Covid-19: the United States authorizes a booster dose for all adults

The American health authorities gave their authorization, Friday, November 19, to a third dose of vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna for all adults fully vaccinated at least six months ago.

L’US drug agency (Food and Drug Administration, FDA) has indicated that this emergency use authorization is contributing “To provide continued protection against Covid-19, including against serious consequences that may occur, such as hospitalization or death”. This decision “Comes at a critical time, as we enter the winter months and face an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations across the country”, said the president and CEO of the American biotechnology company Moderna, Stéphane Bancel.

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People aged 18 and over who received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine in the United States were already entitled to a second dose, two months after their injection.

For those who have been vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna products, the third dose was previously reserved for certain categories of the population: those over 65 years of age, adults at risk of developing a severe form of the disease or those at high risk of the disease. viruses due, for example, to their work.

Curb disease before the holidays

An advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) met on Friday at midday to discuss this generalized recall and simplified its recommendations, subsequently signed by the director of this agency, Rochelle Walensky.

According to experts on this committee, people immunized with a messenger RNA vaccine aged 50 and over ” must “ receive a reminder, while those between the ages of 18 and 50 ” can “ benefit if they wish. According to them, this decision may slow down the transmission of the disease as the holiday season approaches. Some even considered it possible that these vaccines could be considered in the future as three doses from the start.

The United States has authorized since the end of October “Mixtures” vaccine for the booster dose. The inhabitants can therefore choose a vaccine different from their initial series for this new injection.

At least 31 million people have already received a booster dose in the United States, of which about half (17 million) are 65 years and older. In practice, the vast majority of people vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna kept the same vaccine for the third dose, while the majority of people who received a first dose of Johnson & Johnson switched to their booster dose.

According to a presentation from the CDC, side effects after a third dose were somewhat less common than after the second dose.

85,000 daily cases

This announcement comes in the context of an epidemic resumption in the United States, with an average of 85,000 new cases of Covid-19 (compared to around 70,000 at the end of October) and around 1,000 deaths per day.

Some US states, including California, had already started authorizing booster doses for all adults, even before the recommendations of health agencies, in the hope of containing the spread of the epidemic before the holidays.

In October, Pfizer had communicated the results of a clinical trial carried out on 10,000 people showing that a booster dose of its vaccine was 95.6% effective against symptomatic forms of the disease. Efficacy results for Moderna are still pending, but one study showed that a booster dose did increase antibody levels.

For Pfizer-BioNTech, the dosage for the booster is the same (30 micrograms), while for Moderna the booster is actually half a dose (50 micrograms, compared to 100 for the initial two injections).

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Vaccination against Covid-19: the United States authorizes a booster dose for all adults