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EU recommends Moderna, Pfizer boosters for immunocompromised

A Romanian nurse displays a vial of the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine against COVID-19 before a patient gets his booster injection at hospital in Bucharest, Romania. File Photo by Robert Ghement/EPA-EFE
A Romanian nurse displays a vial of the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine against COVID-19 before a patient gets his booster injection at hospital in Bucharest, Romania. File Photo by Robert Ghement/EPA-EFE

Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A European Union drug regulator recommended Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots Monday to immunocompromised.

The European Medicines Agency advised that an extra dose of BioNTech/Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine be given to people with severely weakened immune systems at least 28 days after their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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"The recommendation comes after studies showed that an extra dose of these vaccines increased the ability to produce antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19 in organ transplant patients with weakened immune systems," the EMA said in a statement.

The agency in charge of evaluation and supervision of medicinal products also advised Pfizer shots for adults with normal immune systems six months after their second shot.

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It added that it was still evaluating data to support a Moderna booster for adults with normal immune systems.

The EMA guidelines are not binding, but they set general standards among the bloc's 27 nations, The Washington Post noted.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to release advice on Moderna boosters.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hold committee meetings on booster shots on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15, according to a FDA announcement Friday. During the second meeting, a committee will hear a National Institute of Health presentation on the use of initial dose of one COVID-19 vaccine and a booster dose of another manufacturer's shot.

The FDA is also expected to hear Pfizer's request to amend its emergency use authorization request to allow use of its COVID-19 vaccine for children, 5-11, at an Oct. 26 meeting.

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