A third COVID-19 vaccine shot is set to be allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for immunocompromised individuals, according to various sources. 

This is after a study that involved transplant patients getting a third dose of a COVID vaccine showed that the additional shot provided additional protection. 

The expected changes to COVID-19 vaccine clearances will only apply for immunocompromised individuals and not the general vaccinated population. 

3rd Vaccine Shot for the Immunocompromised

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
(Photo : Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet from Wikimedia Commons)
210109-N-OX321-2038 NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, ITALY (Jan. 9, 2021)-- Angeline Mitchell, registered nurse and American Red Cross volunteer, prepares shots of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for the inoculations of critical medical staff and first responder volunteers onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, Jan. 9, 2021. NAS Sigonella’s strategic location enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to deploy and respond as required to ensure security and stability in Europe, Africa and Central Command. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kegan E. Kay)

A third COVID-19 vaccine shot for immunocompromised individuals will be allowed soon by the FDA, according to various reports. 

Clearances for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be amended to accommodate the change.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are also set to discuss the possibility of administering booster shots for immunocompromised individuals, according to a report by Bloomberg

Related Article: COVID-19 Vaccine Effectivity: Not That High with 'Immunocompromised' People, Transplant Recipients, Says Study

Study Shows 3rd Shot Benefits for Transplant Patients

Researchers at the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada conducted a study on the effects of a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on transplant patients. The results of this study have been shared with both the FDA as well as with Canadian regulators. 

The study involved the participation of 120 transplant patients. According to Bloomberg, a certain number of transplant patients received a third Moderna vaccine shot two months after receiving their second dose. The rest received a placebo shot instead. 

Results of the study show that 55% of those who received a third COVID-19 vaccine shot developed desired antibody levels needed for protection. Only 18% of individuals who received a placebo shot developed the same antibody levels. 

The COVID-19 Booster Debate

Health experts, government regulators, and vaccine manufacturers have been debating on whether or not there is a need for a third COVID-19 vaccine shot or booster.

COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers such as Pfizer and Moderna have long argued for the need for a booster, saying that the additional shot can provide more protection against the coronavirus. 

Despite their arguments, the CDC and other health experts and regulators, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, have previously said that booster shots are not essential just yet. One of the arguments placed against a COVID-19 booster shot is the possibility of more serious side effects. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also slammed countries ordering booster shots for their citizens. The WHO argued that the focus should first be on ensuring that all nations receive equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

Given the changes set to be made for Pfizer and Moderna vaccine clearances, regulators are about to change their tune on the issue, at least as far as immunocompromised individuals are concerned. It remains to be seen if it will be the case for the vaccinated population as a whole. 

Also Read: CDC, Fauci Thinks COVID-19 Boosters Are Not Essential As of The Moment, to Address its Need in Briefing

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Written by Isabella James

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