An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine six months after full inoculation in people 65 years of age and older and for people with high risk of serious illness.
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The decision was made Friday night after members of the FDA’s Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biologicals voted against advising the agency to approve boosters for anyone 16 and older after hours of debate, reports the Xinhua news agency.
Committee members expressed doubts about the safety of a booster dose in young adults and adolescents, and said they wanted to see more data on the safety and long-term efficacy of a booster dose.
An FDA decision on the boosters is expected in the next few days.
Meanwhile, another advisory panel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also scheduled to meet next week on how to implement the eventual FDA decision and how to adjust the recommendation.
The administration of President Joe Biden recently announced a plan to begin administering booster doses to the general population during the week of September 20, pending approval from the FDA and CDC.
The CDC released data Friday showing that all three Covid-19 vaccines available in the US: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & amp; Johnson: They still provide strong protection against hospitalization.
Moderna’s vaccine provided 93 percent protection against hospitalization, Pfizer’s was 88 percent, and Johnson & amp; Johnson’s Janssen vaccine was 71 percent, the CDC study said.