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U.S. approves second Covid-19 booster for people 50 and older

By Andrew Joseph
The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday authorized second Covid-19 boosters for people 50 years and older.
People 50 and older are now eligible for another shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines four months after their last dose, the FDA said.

Health officials cited data from Israel showing that second boosters increased antibody levels, while other studies from Israel have shown that the shots increased protection against death during the country’s Omicron wave. Much of that data is considered preliminary, and it’s only been a few months since those doses started going into arms. Pfizer and BioNTech also said they submitted data to the FDA showing some waning of effectiveness three to six months out from the first booster shots.

“Current evidence suggests some waning of protection over time against serious outcomes from Covid-19 in older and immunocompromised individuals,” Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. “Based on an analysis of emerging data, a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine could help increase protection levels for these higher-risk individuals.”

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