In a press release, Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced that the FDA has expanded the EUA of a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include individuals aged 12 years and older. The booster dose is the same dosage strength (30 mcg) as the dose approved in the primary series.
A booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was previously authorized by the FDA for emergency use after completion of a primary series in individuals aged 16 years and older. The vaccine is also authorized for eligible individuals aged 18 years and older who have completed primary vaccination with a different authorized COVID-19 vaccine.
"The recent rise in COVID-19 cases is concerning to all and today's decision by the FDA to further expand the Emergency Use Authorization of a booster dose of our vaccine is critical to help us ultimately defeat this pandemic," said Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Pfizer. "We continue to believe that broad use of boosters is essential to preserving a high level of protection against this disease and reducing the rate of hospitalizations."
"The booster vaccination increases the level of immunity and improves protection against COVID-19 across all age groups that have been authorized to receive one," stated Ugur Sahin, MD, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech. "In the current situation, it is important to offer all eligible individuals a booster, particularly against the backdrop of the newly-emerging variants such as Omicron."
Real-world evidence from the Ministry of Health of Israel on the administration of over 4.1 million third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine given at least 5 months after the primary series revealed no new safety concerns in adolescents aged 12 through 17 years.
Separately, the FDA is also amending the existing EUA to reduce the time for administration of a booster dose from at least 6 months to at least 5 months following completion of the primary series for individuals aged 12 years and older. The reduction of time between the primary series is supported by real-world evidence from the Ministry of Health of Israel on the administration of third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine given at least 5 months after the primary series, which revealed no new safety concerns in adults.
Finally, the FDA has expanded the current EUA to include administration of a third primary series dose at least 28 days following the second dose for individuals aged 5 through 11 years who have who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise. This authorization is based on information extrapolated from an independent report evaluating safety and effectiveness of a third dose in adults who received solid-organ transplants. A third primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was previously authorized for administration to individuals aged at least 12 years who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise.
The companies continue to supply the vaccine, including booster doses, under their existing supply agreement with the U.S. Government, which continues through April 2022. The companies do not expect that today's news will impact the existing supply agreements in place with governments and international health organizations around the world.
As of December 29, 2021, Pfizer and BioNTech had delivered 1 billion doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to low- and middle-income countries. The companies expect to deliver an additional 1 billion doses to these nations in 2022. These doses are part of Pfizer and BioNTech's previously announced pledge to provide 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to low- and middle-income countries between 2021 and 2022.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is based on BioNTech's proprietary mRNA technology, was developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer. BioNTech is the Marketing Authorization Holder in the U.S., the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries, and the holder of EUAs or equivalents in the U.S. (jointly with Pfizer) and other countries. Submissions to pursue regulatory approvals in those countries where EUAs or equivalent were initially granted are planned.
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk.
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