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FDA advisory committee votes against COVID boosters for those 16 and older

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 9:24 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Do Americans need COVID booster shots now? An advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration said no on Friday.

The panel overwhelmingly voted against approving Pfizer’s COVID vaccine booster for people 16 and older.

The committee voted 16 to 2 after holding an intense discussion Friday on whether booster shots are necessary, and if so, for whom.

The panel included independent infectious disease doctors and statisticians, many of whom were critical of the booster plan.

They argued that the data presented by Pfizer and the FDA was incomplete and challenged whether a broad rollout of additional COVID shots was even necessary.

The Biden administration was hoping the FDA would approve a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine in time to start rolling out boosters next week.

The FDA will now take the panel’s recommendation into consideration in making its decision on the boosters.

“A booster dose is going to significantly contribute to controlling the pandemic. It is very important that the main message that we still transmit is that we have got to get everyone two doses. Everyone has to get the get the primary series. This booster dose is not likely to make a big difference, it’s not likely to make a big difference, in the behavior of this pandemic,” said Professor of Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, Dr. Cody Meissner.

If the FDA goes ahead and approves the booster, a separate advisory committee for the CDC will meet next week to recommend which groups should get them.

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