FDA Advisory Committee Votes Against Broad Recommendation For Booster Shot

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted against recommending a third booster shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for people over the age of 16. The committee overwhelmingly rejected the booster shot by a vote of 16-2.

The panel cited a lack of data that shows a third shot is necessary, especially in younger people.

"We're being asked to approve this as a three-dose vaccine for people 16 years of age and older, without any clear evidence if the third dose for a younger person when compared to an elderly person is of value," said committee member Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Cody Meissner, a professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, said he does not believe a booster shot will help control the pandemic.

"I don't think a booster dose is going to significantly contribute to controlling the pandemic," Cody said.

"It is very important that the main message that we still transmit is that we have got to get everyone two doses. Everyone has got the get the primary series. This booster dose is not likely to make a big difference in the behavior of this pandemic," he added.

In a second vote, the committee voted unanimously in favor of granting an emergency use authorization for a booster shot for people over the age of 65 and those who are at high risk of severe COVID complications.

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