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FDA shortens Moderna booster time to five months

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FDA shortens Moderna booster time to five months
The FDA approved the emergency use of Moderna booster shots within five months of primary shots for adults. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to shorten the interval between primary vaccination and boosters to five months in adults.

The announcement was published by the FDA on Friday and matches the timeline for Moderna's vaccine with that of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

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The change comes as a wave of Omicron cases hits countries across the world. There were 871,213 newly reported cases in the United States within the last 24 hours, according to the World Health Organization website on Friday.

"Vaccination is our best defense against COVID-19, including the circulating variants, and shortening the length of time between completion of a primary series and a booster dose may help reduce waning immunity," FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Director Dr. Peter Marks said in the statement.

People who took the Moderna vaccine at least five months ago and are ages 18 and older can take any of the three vaccine shots -- Moderna, Pfizer or Janssen -- as a booster.

The single-dose Janssen vaccine requires the shortest time -- two months -- between shots, with all three boosters available to those 18 and up.

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Those ages 12 to 17 can use the Pfizer vaccine as a booster.

There are nearly 200 million people fully vaccinated in the United States.

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