The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory council decided unanimously against distributing Pfizer-Covid-19 BioNTech's booster shots to the general public, deciding to only give them to adults 65 and over, as well as those at high risk of serious sickness.
The Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) held its second meeting on Friday and unanimously recommended boosters for a small number of Americans.
COVID-19 vaccination booster doses for some people in the United States may begin this fall, according to Verywell Health. FDA gave a go signal for a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID vaccines for immunocompromised persons who meet particular conditions.
The rest of the population's eligibility for booster doses will be determined by several parameters, some of which are still being evaluated as the FDA reviews data.
Experts Need to Verify Data, See for Mistaken Conclusions To Prove That COVID-19 Booster Vaccines Should Go On
Dr. Paul Offit, a pediatrics professor at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told CNN that the primary purpose of vaccinations was to prevent severe sickness. He provided various examples of data demonstrating that these immunizations are effective.
Even Pfizer stated that its vaccine was still quite efficient in averting serious sickness, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States, with a 90 percent efficiency rate. The corporation said that this wouldn't last much longer, but many VRBPAC members didn't believe them.
However, Dr. Philip Krause, FDA's deputy director for the Office of Vaccines Research and Review, said in the same CNN report that experts have yet to peer-review and examine Pfizer's data.
Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Kurilla, an infectious disease specialist at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, mentioned that Pfizer's trials relied mainly on antibody measures without looking at other critical immune response components.
Dr Monica Gandhi, an infectious diseases physician and professor at the University of California, San Francisco, told BBC that antibodies decrease over time. But she pointed out stated that the human body can produce more.
She went on to say that these blueprints come in the form of "memory B" cells, which are part of the adaptive immune system.
FDA Cites COVID-19 Booster Vaccine's Safety Parameters For Children
Members voted decisively against the recommendation, citing worries about the lack of proof that boosters are safe for children.
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Vaccine Education Center, told NBC News that the committee is being asked to approve the vaccine as a three-dose vaccine for people 16 and older, despite the lack of clear evidence that the third dose for a younger person is of value when compared to an elderly person.
As a result of this feedback, the committee members debated further about which age groups or communities would benefit from a third dosage of vaccine. The panel later reduced the suggestion to persons above the age of 65 and those who are at a higher risk of serious illness.
Booster shots will very definitely be available to anyone who are at high risk of being exposed at work, such as health care professionals and teachers.
FDA's decision on Friday focused solely on the Pfizer vaccine. Meaning, people are eligible to receive the vaccine if they previously received the Pfizer dose. People who have got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccinations are not affected.
US To Purchase More Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines To Be Shared Worldwide
Despite the decision, sources told The Washington Post that the US is still planning to purchase hundreds of millions more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to gift to the rest of the globe.
Insiders say the country wants to step up efforts to share vaccines with the rest of the world.
The government is likely to buy 500 million doses. Still, the transaction terms haven't been completed, according to people familiar with the situation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the meeting.
The purchase will be announced early next week, coinciding with the United Nations General Assembly gathering.
In a statement obtained by The Washington Post, Pfizer spokesperson Amy Rose stated that the company is "dedicated to doing everything possible" to get COVID-19 immunizations to individuals all around the world.
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