FDA could authorize Pfizer’s COVID booster shots for all adults this week

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration could expand access to booster shots for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for all adults as early as Thursday, a person familiar with the plans told CBS News on Tuesday. The drugmaker filed for FDA authorization last week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee is scheduled to meet Friday afternoon to discuss Pfizer’s booster shot. The committee typically makes a formal recommendation after FDA authorization, and then the CDC director signs off on the decision. Given this expected timeline, it appears the FDA will sign off on the third dose either Thursday or Friday morning.

In its filing last week, Pfizer said new data from a large clinical trial of more than 10,000 fully vaccinated people found that a booster dose was over 95% effective against COVID-19 compared to individuals who were fully vaccinated but had not received a booster dose. A press release issued by Pfizer said that during the study period, “there were 5 cases of COVID-19 in the booster group, and 109 cases in the non-boosted group.” The company also said the efficacy of the booster dose was consistent across different ages and racial and ethnic groups. 

The Pfizer booster, as well as Moderna’s vaccine booster, is currently recommended for those 65 and older and adults who either have an underlying health condition or who work or live in a high-risk setting. Meanwhile, anyone 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson’s single dose vaccine is eligible for a second shot. 

Max Bayer contributed reporting.

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