Pfizer and its partner BioNTech on Tuesday asked US regulators to authorize an additional booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine for seniors, saying data from Israel indicates older adults would benefit.
Nowadays, United States recommends two initial injections followed by a booster dose for everyone 12 years of age and older. The new request aims to add a fourth injection only for the population over 65 years of age, which has been the most affected by the pandemic.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention they would have to approve the request. If so, a key question would be when the elderly would be advised to take their next dose.
Although the authorities affirm that the vaccines continue to offer strong protection against a serious picture of covidhave not resisted milder infections as well, especially those due to the omicron variant.
Given the drop in COVID-19 cases following the intense wave of omicron, public health experts are beginning to think about the next steps that might be necessary: if a new variant appears or, failing that, if it tries to reinforce protection against coronavirus at the end of the year at the same time as getting a flu shot.
Sunday on the show “Face the Nation” of the CBS network, the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourlaindicated the company’s plans.
“The protection you’re getting from the third (dose) is good enough—very good, in fact—against hospitalizations and deaths. It is not so good against infections”he stated. “But we will present that data to the FDA and then we will see what the experts outside of Pfizer say.”
Pfizer based its new request on data from Israel, which already offers a second booster to people 60 and older and to healthcare workers.
Although some early data made it unclear what benefit another dose offered — or for how long — Pfizer said Tuesday that an analysis of the medical records of more than 1.1 million elderly Israelis showed there were two confirmed infections. times lower and rates of serious illness were four times lower among those who received two boosters instead of just one.
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