(Bloomberg) -- Booster shots of Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine should be given to older people and those at high risk of the disease, advisers to U.S. regulators said. 

The additional doses should be offered to people aged 65 and older along with those between 18 and 64 years old who are at high risk for medical or occupational reasons, the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel said Thursday in a unanimous, 19-0 vote. The shots should be given six months after the initial inoculation, the panel said. 

The vote follows a similar recommendation from the panel on a booster from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, which has since been cleared by the agency in older, higher-risk populations. Moderna presented data to the panel indicating that its vaccine loses efficacy over time, and that a booster shot is safe and can help restore levels of protective antibodies.

President Joe Biden has championed the booster program as one of the keys to controlling the pandemic and heading off the emergence of new variants that threaten to overcome current countermeasures. However, critics have said that the initial immunizations continue to prevent severe illness from Covid, and booster programs reduce supplies needed by countries that still lack vaccines. 

The Moderna booster is half the dose of the first two shots. 

 

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