After an intense day-long debate, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel of experts rejected a plan to provide a third booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to the general public. The panel cited the need for more data but recommended authorizing boosters for those 65 and older along with people at high risk of severe COVID-19. Data from drug companies shows immunity from the vaccinations wanes over time but infectious disease experts challenged whether that necessitates a broad rollout of extra shots.
The vote comes as the Biden administration was preparing to begin administering boosters for Pfizer recipients as early as Monday. The FDA panel vote is a recommendation, not a final decision, but still a clear signal of the agency’s position. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel is slated to make its recommendation next week.