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Moderna says Covid booster shot needed after 6 months, has requested amendment to US emergency authorization for 3rd doses

Moderna says Covid booster shot needed after 6 months, has requested amendment to US emergency authorization for 3rd doses
Biotech firm Moderna says it has filed for an amendment to the Emergency Use Authorization for its vaccine in the US for giving booster shots, including for those aged 18-64 who are more easily exposed to Covid-19.

Moderna said that a booster dose of its Covid jab should be administered to fully vaccinated older adults and other high-risk individuals some six months after receiving the second shot, according to briefing documents released on Tuesday. Those considered high-risk include people whose jobs mean they are more exposed to the virus. 

The documents relate to upcoming US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meetings this week in which outside expert advisers will gather to discuss whether booster shots are needed.

Moderna said real world data suggested that its vaccine’s efficacy would decrease over time and that the booster was needed to raise antibody levels. They add that this should help reduce the number of "breakthrough" infections in fully vaccinated adults. 

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According to the firm, the side effects and adverse events observed after receiving a 50-microgram booster under trial conditions were similar to those observed after the second dose.

Moderna said it has already applied for an amendment to the vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization from US regulators.

Johnson & Johnson also released briefing documents on Tuesday, citing that their vaccine should receive authorization for a booster shot. J&J said that their shot, originally designed to be administered in only one dose, would benefit from a second shot administered as little as two months after the first.

Americans who received the Pfizer vaccine but who are at higher risk of Covid have already been informed that they can take a booster shot to enhance their ability to fight off the virus.

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