FDA panel rejects broad use of COVID-19 boosters, approves extra doses for seniors, those at high risk – CBC

Members cited lack of safety data, raised doubts about value of mass boosters versus targeted approach

Sep 17, 2021

Dealing the White House a stinging setback, a U.S. government advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly rejected a plan to administer Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots broadly to the American public, and instead endorsed the extra vaccine dose only for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease.

The twin votes represented a heavy blow to the Biden administration’s sweeping effort, announced a month ago, to shore up nearly all Americans’ protection amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

The nonbinding recommendation — from an influential committee of outside experts who advise the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — is not the last word. The FDA will consider the group’s advice and make its own decision, probably within days. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is set to weigh in next week.

In a surprising turn, the panel voted 16-2 to reject boosters for almost everyone. Members cited a lack of safety data on extra doses and also raised doubts about the value of mass boosters, rather than ones targeted to specific groups.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/fda-pfizer-booster-shots-1.6179533

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