FDA could authorize second COVID-19 booster for those over 50
A fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for those over the age of 50 may be approved as early as Tuesday.
Anticipated approval for this shot will be called a "permissive recommendation," which means the shot would be an option for eligible people 50 years old and older.
This won't be a full-out recommendation like the first two doses because the Food and Drug Administration can give this permission recommendation without going through special review panels. If the FDA does approve, it'll mean that those who might want to get their second booster can do so.
In terms of efficacy and safety, the panel that approves that won't be meeting until April. The question now is whether or not this fourth dose or second booster is necessary.
Timing is vital when it comes to boosters because much of it depends on when another COVID-19 surge happens.
Cases are now trending back up in the tri-state region and across the board in New York.
A large percentage of these numbers include the BA.2 variant. Although doctors say symptoms are milder, the sub-variant of Omicron is still very contagious.
When it comes deciding whether a fourth shot is the right choice, doctors say it all depends on each person's well-being.
"I think we are certain in the necessity for the fourth dose of the COVID vaccine in certain specific groups of people - those who are immunocompromised, those who have not responded to the first three doses for whatever reason, those that are older," says Dr. Harish Moorjani, infectious disease expert at Phelps Hospital Northwell Health.
Moorjani says the bottom line is to talk to your provider about this if you are eligible for the fourth dose because FDA approval just enhances that conversation to decide whether it is appropriate for the patient or not.