Third COVID-19 Vaccine Shot Authorized for Some GroupsBy Antonio Gozain | Mon, 08/16/2021 - 16:57
The US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a third jab of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for some immunocompromised people in the US, as several regions, including Mexico, fight a new wave of COVID-19 cases.
“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised people are particularly at risk for severe disease. After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines,” said Janet Woodcock, Acting FDA Commissioner.
That small, vulnerable group now authorized to receive a third COVID-19 vaccine shot is mainly made up of organ transplant recipients. Meanwhile, vaccine manufacturers are preparing for more reinforcement jabs, which could expand to a broader scope of the population in the mid-term future, according to Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President.
While FDA has only approved Pfizer/BioNTech’s and Moderna’s vaccines for emergency use in the US, Mexico has used a wider variety, including Sputnik V, CanSino Bio and AstraZeneca. COFEPRIS recently added Moderna to the approved vaccines list, following the US’s donation of 3.5 million doses.
Mexico has already vaccinated millions with the Pfizer/BioNTech’s shots but will not apply a third dose, said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador: “We will not be submitted, subservient to the pharmaceutical industry saying ‘a third, fourth dose is needed.’”
Several countries preceded FDA’s decision. Beginning in September, Germany will provide a third Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna dose for immunocompromised people, while Bahrain has done it for two months, with a third jab from the Sinopharm vaccine. In Latin America, Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile, announced that the people who received two Sinovac shots, will be able to get a reinforcement AstraZeneca or Pfizer jab. Israel, France, the UK, Russia, Uruguay and the UAE have already taken similar decisions.
In Mexico, the third wave of COVID-19 is hitting hard, despite the progress the government has made in vaccinating its population. Mexico has applied over 77 million doses to over 47 million people, with close to 30 million already fully vaccinated, according to the Ministry of Health.