The decision comes after at least 10 states have begun making booster shots eligible to healthy adults.
The Food and Drug Administration approved COVID-19 booster shots for all vaccinated Americans over the age of 18 on Friday, in an effort to combat a coronavirus outbreak that is anticipated to worsen this winter. Adults who completed a two-dose regimen of either Pfizer and BioNTech's or Moderna's vaccines at least six months ago are now eligible for a third shot, significantly increasing the number of people eligible for a booster in the United States. In August, Pfizer requested broad clearance for an extra dose in all adults. However, the FDA issued a narrower authorisation for older adults and those at higher risk of COVID-19 owing to their health or job, with assistance from outside advisers. Last month, Moderna gained a similar limited authorization for its booster shot.
The FDA came to a decision ten days after Pfizer submitted a new request for broad authorization citing findings from a Phase 3 clinical trial involving more than 10,000 people that proved the third dose to be safe and effective. Moderna submitted a request for authorization for a similarly broad clearance . On Friday, the CDC's advisers issued a similar suggestion, which agency director Rochelle Walensky endorsed. "The FDA has determined that the currently available data support expanding the eligibility of a single booster dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to individuals 18 years of age and older," said Peter Marks, head of the FDA office that reviews vaccines, in a statement. Moderna’s booster is half the strength of what's used for the first two doses.