Pfizer asks FDA to support COVID-19 booster shots

COVID-19 Vaccine

DENVER (KDVR) — Pfizer announced Monday it submitted new data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking support for the use of a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and older.

The company submitted its findings from a Phase 1 trial where participants received the booster eight to nine months after their first round of shots. According to Pfizer, the booster dose showed significantly higher neutralizing antibodies against the initial virus as well as the Beta and Delta variants.

“It’s something that’s been percolating along, and I think we’ve anticipated that boosters would be potentially something in the future,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention at UCHealth. “The fact that they’re applying I don’t think is anything that should be a surprise.”

According to Pfizer’s release, a booster dose given within six to 12 months after the primary vaccinations may help maintain a high level of protection against COVID-19.

Barron says if and when boosters are available for the general population, administering the shots will likely be much smoother than the initial doses earlier in the year “because we have sufficient supply of vaccine. So I think that helps significantly in terms of giving people a choice to be able to get it, rather than worry that they’re not going to be able to get it,” Barron said.

(The Associated Press reported Monday night the U.S. is expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age.)

Barron describes booster shots as a way to remind the body to attack a virus.

“It’s just to say ‘Hey, here’s what I look like, remember me? You don’t want me in your body,'” Barron said.

Pfizer’s submission to the FDA comes less than a week after approval for both Pfizer and Moderna to offer a third dose of the vaccine to those who are immunocompromised.

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