Moderna Applies for FDA Approval for 4th COVID-19 Jab for All Adults

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  • Moderna announced on Thursday that it had applied to the FDA for approval of its second booster jab.
  • The company is seeking emergency authorization for a fourth vaccine shot for everyone aged 18 and up.
  • Earlier this week, Pfizer also asked the FDA to approve a fourth vaccine jab for those aged 65 and over.

Moderna announced on Thursday that it has applied to the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize a second booster jab of its COVID-19 vaccine for all adults.

According to a press release from Moderna, the application asks the FDA to provide emergency authorization for a fourth COVID-19 shot for recipients aged 18 and up. 

Moderna said its request aims “to provide flexibility for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and healthcare providers to determine the appropriate use of an additional booster dose of mRNA-1273, including for those at higher risk of COVID-19 due to age or comorbidities.”

This comes after Moderna president Stephen Hoge said on Monday that only older adults and those who are immunocompromised are likely to need a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel said in February that he believed the pandemic would end this year, but new boosters specifically targeting the Omicron variant could also be required. 

Speaking to The New York Times on Friday, Peter J. Hotez, a vaccine expert at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said he was a “strong proponent” of letting people get a second COVID-19 booster shot.

He told The Times that the first booster jab had “made a huge difference” in protecting people from hospitalization and being infected by the more contagious Omicron variant. 

“It’s also clear that protection is waning now pretty quickly a few months after your third dose,” he said. “So it’s short-lived. The hope is that a second booster would restore it.”

Moderna’s application comes days after Pfizer sought approval for a second booster shot for older Americans aged 65 and older

On Sunday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that an additional shot on top of the first booster jab is “necessary” to boost one’s immune response in light of the Omicron variant.

The vaccine companies’ applications for emergency authorization come as a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections is expected to hit the US in the coming weeks

According to the CDC, 65.3% of the US population — or over 216.9 million people — have been fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, 96.3 million people in the county have received their booster dose. 

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