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All vaccinated adults could soon be eligible for a Pfizer or Moderna booster

A health care worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Lynne Sladky
A health care worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Updated November 17, 2021 at 6:19 PM ET

People 18 or older who are already considered fully vaccinated could soon be eligible to get a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. Modernaasked for that authorization on Wednesday, one day after Pfizer made its application.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce later this week that it will grant Emergency Use Authorization for all adults to get those extra shots.

The boosters are already authorized for anyone 65 or older. The FDA also has authorized boosters for people 18 and over who had some reason to believe they were at risk for severe disease, either because of their job or because of some health condition.

Earlier this month Pfizer indicated that it was seeking to expand that authorization to everyone 18 and older, based on data from a clinical trial showing that a booster improved vaccine efficacy for all adults. FDA appears to be convinced by the company's data that a booster should be valuable for all adults.

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Jane Greenhalgh is a senior producer and editor on NPR's Science Desk.
Barbara Campbell