Moderna’s Half-Dose Booster May be Authorized by the FDA

As new variants of Covid-19 continue to appear, people are more interested in getting a booster shot than ever. New variants of concern contain mutations that make them more transmissible, meaning they are better able to overcome the immunity you’ve built up. For many people, a booster shot could protect against the health risks of new variants. It appears that we may be able to get that booster sooner than later.

The Moderna Booster Shot

The initial Moderna shot contained 100 microgram doses, while Pfizer’s boosters and initial shots contain just 30 microgram doses. Moderna is now working on getting a half dose booster approved by the FDA, at just 50 microgram doses.

Although we have yet to receive an official announcement about the Moderna booster, an FDA approval could be huge. Since the booster dose is just half the original, Moderna could produce double the doses. With more doses, Moderna could distribute them globally and ease supply concerns. It would also mean that Moderna could send more doses to countries that are lagging behind in first shots.

For people interested in a Moderna booster shot, it appears that the side effects would also be less severe. According to over 12,500 people who received the booster shot and completed a CDC survey, side effects were mild or moderate. People reported having a fever and headache, as well as some reactions around the injection site, including redness, swelling, itching, and pain.

Per the survey, 81% of people reported injection site reactions after the Moderna booster. 61% reported experiencing fatigue and 50% reported muscle aches or headaches. A small price to pay for overall health.

Is Any Booster Currently Available?

There is no booster currently available to everyone. At present time, booster shots are only available to adults who have certain health conditions, workers who are considered high risk for contracting Covid-19, and those who are 65 and older and who have also already received the Pfizer vaccine. People who are eligible can only receive the booster 6 months after the second dose.

Those that can get a booster shot are taking advantage of it, as booster shots are now exceeding initial vaccination doses. On average, nearly 400,000 people have received booster shots each day in the last week.

6.7 million Covid-19 vaccination shots were administered from September 30th to October 6th. 2.7 million of those were booster shots. In total, 6.4 million booster shots have been administered since they were first approved. 2.2 million have been administered to eligible adults aged 18 to 64, while 4 million have been given to seniors.

With Moderna booster shots under FDA consideration, third doses and initial doses will be more available than ever. As more people take charge of their health by getting vaccinated, you can expect these numbers to rise.