Charles Krupa / AP
The period between getting the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the first booster has been reduced to five months instead of six for people aged 18 and older, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA’s announcement on Friday comes as the highly contagious omicron variant spreads rapidly across the country and immunity from the first round of vaccines wears off. Over the weekend, more than a million people in the United States were diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Vaccination is our best defense against COVID-19, including circulating variants, and shortening the time between the end of a primary series and a booster dose can help reduce the decline in immunity,” said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA Center. for the evaluation and research of biologics, in a press release.
Marks also said the change in the wait time ensures some consistency between some of the vaccines. On Monday, the FDA also shortened the interval between the second dose of Pfizer and the booster to 5 months. For those who have received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, the time between getting the vaccine and the booster remains at two months.
The effectiveness of Moderna’s first recall is expected to last all winter, the company’s CEO said at a healthcare conference hosted by Goldman Sachs on Thursday, but by next fall the protection could start to drop again and a fourth vaccine would be necessary. .
“I would expect that this would not hold up very well.… I am worried about next fall,” said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel.