ATLANTA, Ga. — A key advisory group with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has voted to recommend a third dose of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines for certain immunocompromised Americans over the age of 12.
The 11 members on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted unanimously to recommend the booster shot for the at-risk group.
The recommendation comes less than a day after the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) amended its emergency use authorization for the two vaccines to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain people with weakened immune systems.
Specifically, the FDA says “solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise” can receive a third dose.
The FDA says people who are immunocompromised in a manner similar to those who have undergone solid organ transplantation have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases. They are especially vulnerable to infections, including COVID-19.
Now that both U.S. agencies have approved the change, NBC News reports that CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky must sign off on the committee’s decision before those eligible can start received a third vaccine dose.
The Washington Post reports that Walensky is expected to give her approval and the additional shots could begin going out this weekend.
The CDC has estimated that about 7 million people in the U.S. are immunocompromised, The Post reports.