Pfizer is seeking US approval of the booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine.
The drugmaker says today that it has started the application process for a third dose of its vaccine for people ages 16 and older. The company says that it will complete the application with the US Food and Drug Administration by the end of this week.
The company’s move follows an announcement by US health officials last week of plans to give COVID-19 booster shots to all Americans to shore up their protection amid the surging Delta variant of the virus. Officials said that it is “very clear” that the vaccines’ protection against COVID-19 infections wanes over time.
Pfizer’s vaccine received full FDA approval earlier this week. The vaccine had been used since last December under an emergency use authorization.
The three vaccines used in the US, made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are still preventing hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. But the vaccines don’t appear to be quite as strong against the highly contagious Delta variant as they were against earlier versions of the virus.
Earlier this month, US regulators said that transplant recipients or others with weakened immune systems could get an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.