FDA expected to authorize Pfizer booster for seniors, those at high risk | KSTP.com

FDA expected to authorize Pfizer booster for seniors, those at high risk

Updated: September 22, 2021 12:04 PM
Created: September 22, 2021 07:33 AM

Big news could be announced Wednesday on the future of Pfizer's coronavirus booster vaccine.

ABC News reports the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will likely give the company's third dose the green light.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel meeting Wednesday could create guidance on how those boosters should be used.

This is big news for the millions of Americans ages 65 and older. Officials say a third Pfizer vaccine will likely be authorized for seniors and those at high risk for severe illness.

There's also a possibility frontline and essential workers will be considered for the booster.

Right now, only those who have weakened immune systems are eligible for a third dose.

Wednesday's meetings come after an FDA advisory committee decided it will not recommend a shot for everyone 16 and older right now. 

Members cited a lack of safety data on extra doses and also raised doubts about the value of mass boosters, rather than ones targeted to specific groups.

Last week's vote was a blow to the Biden administration's goal to make boosters available for everyone this week.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS talked with KSTP medical expert Dr. Archelle Georgiou about the FDA committee's recommendations.

She said she wasn't surprised by the decision.

"Eighty-four percent of the committee members didn't believe that there was enough data to support a booster for those 16 to 64. So, if at some point in the future there is a recommendation for a booster in that population, it's going to require more science and more data. We need to remember that the committee's responsibility is to weigh risk and benefit and that's exactly what they did in voting no for the larger population."

Wednesday's meetings will only focus on the Pfizer vaccine.

Both the FDA and CDC will most likely decide at some later point whether people who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shots should get boosters.

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