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Aprueban refuerzo de vacuna Pfizer contra COVID-19 para mayores de 65 años. Foto: Getty Images
An old man receives is vaccinated against COVID-19. Photo: Getty Images

FDA Approves a third dose of Pfizer for people 65 and older

The decision is a middle ground in the face of a proposed COVID-19 vaccine booster for all Americans.

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After an extensive debate that included various sectors and experts, the FDA made the decision to approve the application of a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 for people over 65 years of age and other at-risk population. 

The decision closes the discussion in the agency over the need for the booster for the entire population or groups at higher risk in case of infection. 

At the beginning of August, President Joe Biden announced the intention to apply a booster to all adults who had applied the two doses of Pfizer and Moderna up to eight months after completing the scheme. 

At the time, experts and even the WHO itself began to question the effectiveness of a third dose, arguing, among other things, that due to the global situation, the most important thing was to cover the majority of people with the full schedule before thinking about starting to hand out boosters.

With the decision, the FDA found a middle ground between the openness to a third dose and the position of those who think it is unnecessary for the time being. In addition to those over 65 years of age, those who are at risk due to their level of exposure to the virus would also receive the booster. 

There is still the resolution of the CDC, which will give its position on the issue on Thursday, Sept. 23. Whatever the CDC says regulates public vaccination policies, but with the FDA's approval, health care providers are authorized to offer a third dose in indicated cases. 

The FDA left open the possibility of reviewing in the coming weeks or months the application of the booster in the rest of the population, also for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which have already presented their studies recommending its application. 

The United States joins the list of wealthy countries that approve the application of a third dose to their population, as Israel and the United Kingdom have already done so.

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