The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) unanimously supported emergency use authorization to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine as a booster to those 65 years of age and older individuals at high risk of developing severe COVID-19.
The panel, however, resoundingly rejected a plan to administer the vaccine as a booster to individuals 16 years of age and older. A total of 16 panelists voted ‘no’ while two others voted ‘yes.’
“With regard to the extrapolation of data from much older populations to 16- and 17-year-olds, we have no data on the safety in these populations at all that have been presented so far. And that concerns me significantly,” said Dr. Archana Chatterjee, VRBPAC member and dean of the Chicago Medical School. While supporting boosters in older populations, Chatterjee said she would “like to see more data before I would recommend it for a younger age group.”
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