The Food and Drug Administration conducted a meeting on Friday in Washington. The expert panel meeting aimed to study the need for a booster dose for American citizens.
Pfizer And Moderna Tell How Long Vaccine Protection Lasts.
An expert panel suggested that the FDA should not approve booster doses for the general public. The suggestion was opposed by many.
Pfizer tried all its tips and tricks to express the importance of the boosters. Pfizer executive Dr. William said that without boosters infection rate among the vaccinated will rise.
The committee members were skeptical about the need for booster doses for the citizens. A few of the committee members argued that it is too early to decide if boosters can provide additional protection or not.
Voting went sixteen over three against recommending boosters to all citizens aged 16 and above. The committee agreed on the necessity for boosters shots for citizens aged 65 and above and people with a high risk of severe disease.
The big question in the meeting was, for how long does the first dose provide protection. Pfizer released its data this week to answer this question.
The data includes results from eight studies. It showed that the vaccine’s effectiveness reduces over time. The efficacy from 88% drops to 47% in five months.
Moderna also released data regarding the same. Its report also indicated the need for a third dose.
The FDA and CDC are not evaluating Moderna for booster shots as of now.
The data from Pfizer and Moderna showed how they evaluate the duration of vaccine protection.
The companies tracked their clinical trial participants. These participants were studied in two groups. Firstly those who got vaccinated during trials that began in 2020. Secondly, those who got a placebo after the real vaccine was authorized.
Both companies compared the number of infections reported in both groups. Pfizer showed that the risk of Covid-19 infection was lower among those who got fully vaccinated in 2020 trials than those who got fully vaccinated later.
Moderna’s data showed similar results. Their report stated that the risk of infection was higher in trial participants. The company reported 162 breakthrough infections in these participants. Only 88 cases were reported among those who got their second shot eight months earlier.
These reports point out the need for booster shots, Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel said.
Apart from the company’s reports, several other reports also suggest that the effectiveness of Pfizer’s vaccine reduces over time.
Israel’s data suggests that the risk of infection is higher in those who got vaccinated with Pfizer earlier than those who got vaccinated later. The presence of the DElta variant adds to the challenges.
Pfizer’s vaccine is effective in protecting against severe illness and hospitalizations. Several reports suggest that Moderna offers better protection.
Moderna’s vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalization by 93% whereas, Pfizer reduced the risk by 88%.
The CDC author wrote that the findings from these reports lead to individual choices and recommendations for booster doses.
The decision against booster doses for younger citizens comes as a setback to the Biden administration. He said that the administration of the booster dose to citizens from September 20. He planned to give booster doses to all citizens.
Dr. Schaffner said we surely need the boosters, but we do not need them right now.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted a meeting on booster doses on Friday. The FDA recommends the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots for all Americans aged 65 and above. The citizens with a high risk of severe illness are also eligible for the booster shot.