The Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization for a booster shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for adults over the age of 65 and people over the age of 18 who have a high risk of being exposed to the coronavirus or those at risk of severe illness.
The third shot would be given at least six months after receiving the second dose.
"After considering the totality of the available scientific evidence and the deliberations of our advisory committee of independent, external experts, the FDA amended the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for a booster dose in certain populations such as health care workers, teachers, and daycare staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others," Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. said in a statement.
"This pandemic is dynamic and evolving, with new data about vaccine safety and effectiveness becoming available every day. As we learn more about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, including the use of a booster dose, we will continue to evaluate the rapidly changing science and keep the public informed," she continued.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to vote on Thursday (September 23) about who would qualify for the booster shots.