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Pfizer-BioNTech will seek authorization for second COVID booster for older adults

A staff member poses with a vial of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination health center.
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A staff member poses with a vial of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination health center.

Pfizer and BioNTech are planning to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a second COVID-19 booster shot for people 65 and older.

The companies plan to seek emergency authorization for this additional booster for older adults to strengthen protections against the omicron variant, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Pfizer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. If authorized, the second booster would bring the vaccination schedule for the Pfizer vaccine to four shots in this age group.

Evidence has been mounting that the protection from three shots has faded with time, especially against the omicron variant which is better at evading the immune system than previous versions of the coronavirus.

The vaccines do still provide protection for most people against getting so sick that they end up in the hospital or die.

Some experts remain skeptical that another booster is needed yet and question how effective another shot may be. Others say boosting the most vulnerable is important.

This development was first reported by The Washington Post.

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