The coronavirus pandemic in the United States is not waning. On the contrary, the rapid spread of the highly-contagious Delta variant has forced policymakers and public health officials alike to look into vaccine booster shots.
On Friday, advisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 16-2 against approving booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine for Americans older than 16.
After that, the panel voted unanimously to approve Pfizer boosters in Americans 65 and older and those at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms, as reported by CNN.
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The FDA panel’s votes are non-binding, but they nonetheless send a powerful signal amid Joe Biden administration’s efforts to roll out booster shots and contain the virus.
Additionally, according to medical director for infection prevention at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Steven Pergam, the FDA panel’s recommendation does not cover health care workers, who are constantly exposed to COVID-19.
Head of the FDA’s vaccine arm Peter Marks said that the agency has asked the panel to consider possible changes in “wording” for the emergency use authorization.