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Pfizer will reportedly ask FDA to authorize its booster for all adults

The drug-maker plans to seek boosters for anyone age 18 and older, according to reports.

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Jessica Rendall Wellness Writer
Jessica is a writer on the Wellness team with a focus on health news. Before CNET, she worked in local journalism covering public health issues, business and music.
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Jessica Rendall
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Pfizer and vaccine partner BioNTech will seek authorization of a COVID-19 booster for anyone age 18 and older, The Washington Post reported Monday. 

The company could file the request as early as this week, anonymous sources familiar with the situation told the Post. It wasn't clear in the report if Pfizer's sought-after booster for all adults would apply only to people who originally received Pfizer or if the US Food and Drug Administration will consider extending the booster to people who received another vaccine. Last month, the FDA authorized a "mix and match" approach to booster shots to all adults currently eligible for one. 

Read more: Pfizer vaccine booster now part of mix and match: What to know

Many adults are already eligible for a booster in the US under certain conditions, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All Johnson & Johnson recipients are eligible two months after their first shot. Moderna and Pfizer recipients are eligible six months after their second shot if they are least 65 years old -- or are at least 18 years old and have an underlying health condition, work or live in a high-risk setting or live in a long-term care facility. Also, an additional vaccine dose is recommended for people who are immunocompromised.

About 85% of US adults are currently eligible for a booster, Dr. Paul Offit told The New York Times at the end of October. Offit was referencing, in part, the CDC's list of health conditions that make someone eligible for a booster, which is subject to change and has continued to grow to include things such as depression as scientists learn more about the coronavirus and how it impacts certain people more than others. 

As The Washington Post reported, Pfizer's reported plan 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. 

In a comment about the reported plans to seek booster authorization for all adults, a Pfizer spokesperson said: "We have not submitted and will be in touch if and when that update occurs."

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.