A panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted against recommending a booster shot of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for everyone on Friday afternoon, and it could possibly reassure parents who are hesitant to have their teen get the shot.
In a 16-2 vote, the committee decided against a booster shot for those 16-64 who are not at risk for a severe case of the viral illness.
The advisers were particularly concerned about the effect a third shot would have on young adults and teenagers.
“I have major concerns with regard to the extrapolation of data from much older populations to 16- and 17- year-olds,” the dean of the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University, Dr. Archana Chatterjee said, according to CNN.
“We have no data on the safety in this population at all, that have been presented so far, and, and that concerns me significantly,” she continued.
“Recommending a third dose for younger people is not something I would be comfortable with at this point,” Dr. Melinda Wharton of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in agreement, the outlet reported.
This could be a huge relief for those who are on the fence about letting their teenager get the shot, as the concern about getting a third dose six months later is now out of the question.
While there have been extremely rare cases of heart problems in young adults after getting the vaccine, it remains largely safe and effective for the age group.
On the flip side, the advisers voted unanimously in favor of emergency authorization for a booster shot for those at high risk and seniors.
The FDA will make a final decision in the coming days and is expected to follow what the panel voted upon, according to The Associated Press.
Similarly, the CDC will hold a meeting next week among its own advisory panel to discuss the recommendation and distribution of a third dose to those 65 and older or at serious risk.
Independent journalist Jordan Schachtel pointed out that the FDA’s vote denying an emergency use authorization for people 16 and up delayed the Biden administration’s timeline to start rolling out booster shots to everybody beginning Sept. 20.
“Biden White House intended on rolling out booster shots in 3 days. Today, FDA overwhelmingly voted to shut that down. 1st clear revolt from bureaucracy during this admin. Sparked by 2 top officials retiring & denouncing boosters in Lancet paper. Interesting developments for sure,” he tweeted.
“It’s a legit revolt. The White House is not happy. Here’s the strategy to roll out boosters, right from their COVID plan.”
The FDA panel was smart in its decision not to move toward a third booster for those who are fully vaccinated, as it would likely increase vaccine hesitancy overall.
If people are unsure about how many shots they will need in a “learn as we go” process, it will only increase skepticism and prolong the pandemic.
The lack of clarity and transparency from federal agencies is what has politicized the pandemic, and Americans need clear answers in order to make informed decisions about their health.