The FDA has authorized fourth Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses for everyone age 50 and older.
The FDA also said it authorized a second Pfizer booster shot for people age 12 and older who have compromised immune systems, and a second Moderna booster for adults ages 18 and older with compromised immune systems. All of the new boosters are to be administered at least fourth months after the last shot.
The FDA made the decision without a meeting of its vaccine advisory committee, a rare move the agency has made more frequently over the course of the pandemic.
Dr. Paul Offit, a committee member, criticized the drug regulator for moving forward without holding an open meeting where the American public can hear experts weigh the data and make a recommendation to the FDA about the best path forward.
“It’s just sort of fait accompli,” Offit said of the FDA authorization. “So is this the way it works? We talk endlessly about how we follow the science—it doesn’t seem to work out that way.”