FDA authorizes third dose of COVID-19 vaccine
On Thursday, Aug. 12, the FDA approved the administration of a third dose of vaccine as a booster against the virus for immuno-deficient patients.
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 4 billion doses of vaccine have been administered worldwide.
Although the number continues to increase, the percentage is still nowhere near the 70% of the population targeted for vaccinations to achieve herd immunity. Eighty percent of the vaccines have been administered in high-income countries and make up less than half of the world's population.
In pursuit of this 'herd immunity' for the population, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for immuno-deficient patients, such as people who have had an organ transplant or cancer.
The decision was made one day before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) independent advisory committee was set to consider and vote on whether to recommend the measure.
"After a thorough review of the available data, FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, a member of the FDA team.
Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel, confirmed that the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine will be available for people under 60-years-old next week. Since the last week of July, Israel has administered the extra dose to people over the age of 60.
"We are prepared in terms of vaccinations," said the Prime Minister, who also mentioned the third dose of the vaccine will be expanded to the elderly starting the following week.
During the last 24 hours, 5,946 infections have been reported, for a total of 921,083 with 6,593 deaths. On Tuesday, Aug. 10, Israel reported for the first time in six months more than 6,000 positive cases in a day.
So far, only three countries in Latin America have announced the possibility of applying a third dose as a booster for coronavirus vaccines.
The Dominican Republic was the first country to start a third-dose vaccination campaign for high-risk groups. According to official data, more than 300,000 people have been vaccinated for a third time in the country.
Chile, the country with one of the highest vaccination rates in the South of the continent, was the second country to start a vaccination campaign to administer a third dose of vaccines against the virus. Starting this Wednesday, Aug. 11, Chileans who have received their full dosage of the Chinese vaccine, Sinovac, are eligible to receive a third booster dose.
Uruguay also joined the list of Latin American countries announcing they will administer a third dose starting on Aug. 16. This will be intended for all those who have received the Chinese vaccine or those in high-risk groups, who will receive a third vaccine from Pfizer.