‘Another level of immunity’: FDA approves additional coronavirus vaccine for immunocompromised


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Some fully vaccinated people may soon be eligible to get another COVID-19 shot as Hawaii pushes for more people to their first dose.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a booster shot on Thursday, Aug. 12, but only for certain people.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization is for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for people with weakened immune systems, including those who have received organ transplants and cancer patients.

“The good news is that booster shots are available and they do provide an additional level of immunity for those individuals,” said Hilton Raethel, Healthcare Association of Hawaii CEO.

The FDA says the shots are for those that are immunocompromised but did not list what health conditions that could cover. The shots would be given at least 28 days after they received their second dose for those that qualify.

“Some other countries have already started giving booster shots. The good news is that we’ve got plenty of vaccines available and it’s easy to get a booster shot,” Raethel said.

Health officials are still exploring if and when the rest of the general population will need a booster shot. They said the existing vaccines are still highly effective for now.

“It is possible over time that people may need to get a booster shot every year. We don’t know that yet. It’s yet to be discovered exactly what will be necessary for optimal to continue to protect individuals,” said Raethel.

Despite the FDA authorization, booster shots are not available just yet. The CDC still has to have its own meeting regarding the authorization, which is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 13.

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For more information on the FDA approval of the additional COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised individuals, click here.

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