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Another COVID Booster for Age 50 or Older

The Associated Press, among other news outlets, reported on Tuesday that the US Food and Drug Administration approved another does of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster for people age 50 and older in an effort to provide extra protection for the most vulnerable in the event of a new SARS-CoV-2 spike.

The FDA had previously cleared fourth (and possible fifth) doses only for people 12 and older with severely weakened immune systems. The latest approval, regardless of people's health, allows an extra shot to millions more Americans, the AP reported, begging the question of whether everyone who's eligible should rush out and get it — something the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to weigh in on soon.

The second booster is only for these higher-risk groups because "current evidence suggests some waning of protection" for them, FDA vaccine chief Peter Marks told the AP.

The news organization also reports that the newest booster expansion may not be the last: Next week, the government will hold a public meeting to debate if everyone eventually needs a fourth dose, possibly in the fall, of the original vaccine or an updated shot.