Notably, even though Moderna asked the panel to consider whether to give a “booster”, (or third dose) to people aged 18 and older, the panel posted a question considering whether to give it to people aged 65 and older.
That echoes the recommendation the panel gave for Pfizer booster shots. While the panel was initially asked to consider boosters for the general public, and the administration pushed for the same, experts ultimately recommended boosters for a much smaller population of older Americans and people at risk of severe Covid-19.
Independent advisors to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will also consider whether to recommend a “booster”, or third dose, of the Moderna vaccine for people aged 18 and older. On Friday, they will consider whether to recommend a second dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Experts with the Vaccines and Related Biological Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will consider whether the booster doses are safe and effective at least six months after people completed their first series of two shots. Moderna asked experts to consider giving people a half-dose of their vaccine, in hopes it will trigger fewer side effects than the first series of doses people received.
Covid-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death. The hope is that a third dose, or booster, would even further protect people from Covid-19, as some experts have argued early evidence shows protection from mild to moderate illness wanes.
Notably, there is scientific debate about whether waning immunity to mild and moderate disease will necessarily equate to less protection from hospitalization and death.
Further, the World Health Organization (WHO) has asked wealthy countries to hold off on boosters for one years, until more people globally can get initial doses. Globally, demand far outstrips supply. Africa is the least vaccinated continent, with just 7.3% of the population having received at least one dose.
Good morning and welcome to the Guardian US politics liveblog…
Today we’re watching the House committee investigating the 6 January Capitol attack, where lawmakers have subpoenaed former advisors to the Trump administration.
Legislators are eyeing whether former Trump administration adviser Steve Bannon will continue his game of chicken with lawmakers, a game that could eventually lead to criminal contempt charges if he continues to refuse to testify before the committee and supply them with documents.