The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for people with weakened immune systems, NPR reports.
The makers of both vaccines have suggested that another dose of their vaccines might be needed to further boost protection against new viral variants, though the US has said there is not yet enough evidence that such a booster is widely needed.
However, people with compromised immune systems may not have had as robust a response to initial vaccination. Because of this, FDA has authorized another vaccine dose for individuals who have received solid organ transplants or have similarly compromised immune systems, NPR reports.
"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," acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock says in a statement. "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."
She further reiterates that other fully vaccinated individuals have enough protection against COVID-19 and don't need another vaccine dose at this time.