The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave the go-ahead to lower the wait time for recipients of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine looking to receive a booster.

On Friday, the CDC’s advisory panel agreed to lower the wait period between receiving a second and third dose of the Moderna vaccine from six months to five. In a statement, a CDC spokesperson said that the action brings "consistency in the timing" for the administration of booster doses for patients.

The CDC’s decision follows its decision to follow the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) move earlier this week to lower the wait period for recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster from six to five weeks as well. Earlier on Friday, the FDA announced that it would do the same for the Moderna booster, and the move was finalized with the acquiescence of the CDC.

"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," said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a statement.

By lowering the wait time between doses, the agencies are adding a new tool to their kit of available options for arresting the ascent of new COVID-19 cases in the United States. With the majority of new cases being connected to the Omicron variant that emerged last November, boosters will provide a degree of added protection against the new strain.