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Pfizer asks FDA to authorize booster for all adults

The agency is expected to grant Pfizer's request​, perhaps before Thanksgiving, says a report.

Hazem Bader/Getty Images

Pfizer and partner BioNTech have asked the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize COVID-19 boosters for all adults. The FDA is expected to grant Pfizer's request, possibly before Thanksgiving, according to The New York Times. 

Currently, adults who originally received the Pfizer vaccine are eligible for a booster if they're age 65 or older, at risk of severe COVID-19 because of a medical condition, or at high risk of transmission because of their work or institution. Eligible people who received Moderna's vaccine or Johnson & Johnson's shot may also get a booster of Pfizer, thanks to the FDA's authorization of a "mix and match" approach to boosting last month. 

In September, the FDA stopped short of granting Pfizer's request for boosters for everyone age 16 or older who received the company's vaccine. Pfizer's request this time, for everyone age 18 and up, is likely to be extended to all adults, regardless of what vaccine they originally received, the Times said. 

During the Times' DealBook Summit on Tuesday, Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Burla said he expects Pfizer's booster to last "at least a year" but that annual vaccination against COVID-19 might be "prudent." 

Pfizer's move to seek boosters for anyone age 18 or older is in line with the Biden administration's plan to get all US adults a booster. The booster rollout in the US, which some have criticized as premature, comes at a time when as few as 4.2% of people in low-income countries have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. 

Burla declined to compare Pfizer's vaccine to the two other COVID-19 vaccines available in the US, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, calling them all "very good vaccines." 

"I think we need options," Burla said. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.