FDA advisory panel votes against recommending COVID-19 booster shots for most Americans

NY Post

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted against green-lighting COVID-19 booster shots Friday for most people — throwing up a major hurdle for President Biden’s plan to dole out a third dose to most Americans. But the independent panel, which reviewed a 23-page FDA briefing document highlighting recent studies, recommended emergency use of a third dose for Americans over age 65 and those at high risk of severe infection. The panel said more data is needed before it can okay boosters for people ages 16 and older, and that the two-dose Pfizer regimen is still highly protective against the spread of the super-contagious Delta variant for most people. “In particular, there is a lack of data on effectiveness and duration,” Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, said at the meeting Friday. “Current evidence does not appear to show a need for boosting.” The FDA is not bound to follow the advice of the independent advisory panel but has followed its guidance so far on COVID-19 vaccinations. Overall, the panel voted 16-2 not to recommend a third dose for people 16 years and up while unanimously green-lighting it for people 65 years and older. In coming to its decision, the advisory panel scrutinized several studies to determine whether a booster shot was effective and necessary at least six months after a second dose. The panel noted research published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July showing that people who have received both doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine are still 88 percent protected against getting sick from the Delta variant.

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