Moderna Joined Pfizer With Plans For A Second COVID Booster & Here's Who Can Get It

Pfizer said it had asked the FDA to authorize a second booster dose.

A woman getting a vaccine.
Global Staff Writer

A woman getting a vaccine.

Both Pfizer and Moderna asked the U.S. FDA to approve a second booster dose this week amid rising case counts around the world.

Pfizer announced Tuesday that it had asked the federal agency to authorize a second booster for people aged 65 and older.

"It is necessary," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CBS on March 13.

He added that those with three doses have protection that is "quite good" for preventing hospitalization and death. However, "it's not that good against infections," he said.

Moderna followed Pfizer's move by asking for authorization of its own fourth dose on Thursday.

Moderna is asking the FDA to approve a second booster for people aged 18 and older, according to a news release. It said the request to include this age group will give health care providers more "flexibility" to determine the use of a fourth dose for people who are at "higher risk of COVID-19 due to age or comorbidities."

There's no timeline yet for when a second booster could be available in the U.S. or other countries. However, Pfizer's CEO has said in the past that a fourth dose might be needed, and had suggested that it would be required 12 months after the first booster dose.

Many countries have moved to scale back or lift their COVID-19 restrictions in recent months, although the World Health Organization warned this week that we're not done with the coronavirus yet.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday that the Omicron variant is driving global case counts up again as some countries scale back their testing efforts.

"These increases are occurring despite reductions in testing in some countries, which means the cases we're seeing are just the tip of the iceberg," he said, according to Reuters.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Cata Balzano
Global Staff Writer