HealthDay News — Pfizer made its case for quick U.S. approval of a third booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine during a meeting with the country’s top scientists and federal regulators on Monday.
The online meeting, convened by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), came the same day that Israel began to give third doses of the Pfizer vaccine to heart transplant patients and others with compromised immune systems. Still, U.S. officials said after the meeting that more data would be needed before regulators could determine whether booster shots were necessary, The New York Times reported.
“It was an interesting meeting. They shared their data. There wasn’t anything resembling a decision,” Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Times. “This is just one piece of a much bigger puzzle, and it’s one part of the data, so there isn’t a question of a convincing case one way or the other.”
Pfizer spokeswoman Amy Rose said in a statement, “We had a productive meeting with U.S. public health officials on the elements of our research program and the preliminary booster data.” The HHS issued its own statement after the meeting. “At this time, fully vaccinated Americans do not need a booster shot,” it said.
The final decision on booster shots will depend in part on real-world data gathered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about breakthrough infections in vaccinated people that cause serious disease or hospitalization, several officials said after the meeting, The Times reported.