FDA Panel Rejects Booster Shots For Most People, But Recommends For Older Adults

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A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted against the approval of COVID-19 booster shots for most people, but recommended the use of a third dose in people over age 65.

The independent advisory panel on Friday voted 18-0 in emergency approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at least six months following the second dose among people ages 65 and older and those at high risk. The vote will now go before the FDA for a final decision.

However, the panel earlier on Friday voted to reject the recommendation of Pfizer's booster vaccine in people ages 16 and older. The panel voted 2-16 against the recommendation.

According to the panel, additional data is required to recommend boosters for people ages 16 and older. It also said that the current two-dose regimen is still highly protective against the spread of the Delta variant for most people.

The panel referred to a research published in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed people who have received both doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are still 88 percent protected against the Delta variant.

Meanwhile, the FDA is not required to adhere to advice of the independent advisory panel, but it has followed the panel's recommendation so far on COVID-19 vaccinations.

The latest development is a setback to the Biden administration as it has been strongly advocating for booster shots for Americans to curb the delta variant, which is ravaging across the country.

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