The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave the green light to the use of updated Covid-19 booster shots by Pfizer and Moderna, which target subvariants of the virus. This is the first time that updated Covid-19 vaccines have received emergency use authorization in the United States. The vaccines combine the two companies’ original vaccine with a vaccine that targets Omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.
The two companies submitted emergency use authorization requests for their vaccines to the FDA last week.
Pfizer’s updated vaccine is an authorized 30-microgram dose for people ages 12 and older, while Moderna’s vaccine is an authorized 50-microgram dose for people ages 18 and older.
The injections, however, can only be given after being recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC’s vaccine advisory group will have to make a decision Thursday on whether to use the two booster shots.