The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved booster doses of the Pfizer BioNTech covid vaccines for all people aged 18 and over.
The EU drug watchdog has also approved extra doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for people with severely weakened immune systems.
In a statement which referred to the brand name for the Pfizer jab, the EMA said: “Comirnaty booster doses may be considered for people aged 18 years and older, at least six months after the second dose.” They added that “decisions for boosters will be taken by public health bodies at national level.”
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MSN reports: The EMA’s medicines experts had “evaluated data for Comirnaty showing a rise in antibody levels when a booster dose is given,” it said.
“The risk of inflammatory heart conditions or other very rare side effects after a booster is not known and is being carefully monitored,” the EMA added.
Rare cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, have been reported in people who have taken the Pfizer vaccine, especially in young men.
Separately the EMA gave the green light for people with “severely weakened immune systems” to get extra doses of Moderna and Pfizer at least 28 days after their second dose.
Two doses are sometimes not enough to produce sufficient antibodies in immunocompromised people, such as organ transplant recipients.
“Although there is no direct evidence that the ability to produce antibodies in these patients protected against Covid-19, it is expected that the extra dose would increase protection at least in some patients,” the EMA said.