The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now recommending that adults get a booster shot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine after five months instead of after six months.
The agency recently made a similar recommendation for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. People who received Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID vaccine are eligible to get a booster shot after just two months.
Health officials hope that reducing the interval between completion of the primary series and the booster shot can help fight the Omicron variant, which is rapidly spreading across the country.
“The country is in the middle of a wave of the highly contagious omicron variant, which spreads more rapidly than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and other variants that have emerged,” Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said in a press release. “Vaccination is our best defense against COVID-19, including the circulating variants, and shortening the length of time between completion of a primary series and a booster dose may help reduce waning immunity. Today’s action also brings consistency in the timing for administration of a booster dose among the available mRNA vaccines. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated—it’s never too late to get your COVID-19 vaccine or booster.”