No evidence yet that it’s time for a 3rd booster, says former FDA director
There’s not enough evidence that booster vaccines are needed for now, said Norman Baylor, president and chief executive officer of Biologics Consulting.
“We’re just not there yet … we don’t have the evidence that it’s time for a booster,” he said, adding that in future, there could be new variants that render current vaccines ineffective or much less effective.
Pfizer said on July 8 that it is developing a Covid booster shot, or third dose, to target the highly transmissible delta variant.
There isn’t enough evidence right now to show that booster shots for Covid vaccines are needed, according to a former FDA director.
“Being prepared to make boosters is a good thing, but we really don’t have … evidence, at least in the United States, where we’re seeing vaccine failures or we’re seeing waning in immunity, such that it’s time to deploy a booster,” said Norman Baylor, who was previously with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s office of vaccines research and review.
Pharmaceutical firm Pfizer is developing a Covid booster shot, or third dose, to target the highly transmissible delta variant, which has become the dominant strain in many countries including the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA also said last week in a joint statement that “Americans who have been fully vaccinated won’t need a booster dose at this time.”
Pfizer met with U.S. officials on Monday to make its case for a third shot.
The company worked with German company BioNTech to develop a vaccine that consists of two doses given three weeks apart. It was given emergency use authorization by the World Health Organization in December.
No significant vaccine failure
Pfizer and BioNTech pointed to data from Israel’s health ministry that said there was decreased effectiveness in their vaccine, in terms of preventing infection and symptomatic disease.
The decline in efficacy coincided with the spread of the delta variant and the end of most Covid measures in Israel. The shot remains 93% effective in preventing hospitalizations and serious illness from Covid-19, the ministry reportedly said.
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