FDA Panel Recommends Booster Shots for Individuals Over 65 and at High Risk

Headline Roundup September 17th, 2021

An FDA advisory panel voted unanimously in favor of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for individuals 65 and older and those at high risk of severe COVID-19 after rejecting booster shots for everyone 16 and older by a vote of 16-2. The panel’s vote influences but does not determine the ultimate decision for approval. Over 2 million Americans have received a booster shot since August 13, according to CDC data released Friday. 

Coverage across the spectrum varied on framing the votes as a rejection of the “16 and older” approval or an endorsement of the “65 and older” approval. Because the “65 and older” vote was not originally planned and came after the “16 and older” vote, some coverage shortly after the panel’s meeting said only that the panel “rejected” booster shots. Coverage in some outlets framed the votes as a blow to the Biden administration’s plans to widely distribute booster shots. 

From the Center
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An influential federal advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected a plan Friday to give Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to most Americans, but it endorsed the extra shots for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease.

The twin votes represented a heavy blow to the Biden administration’s sweeping effort to shore up nearly all Americans’ protection amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

The decision was made by a committee of outside experts who advise the Food and Drug Administration.

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From the Left
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In an all-day FDA advisory meeting, experts unanimously recommended a coronavirus vaccine booster be authorized for people 65 and older and those at high risk of severe disease. The panel earlier resoundingly voted against approving Pfizer’s application for a broader approval of boosters for everyone 16 and older.

Expert advisers to the Food and Drug Administration are meeting Friday on the increasingly contentious issue of coronavirus vaccine boosters, the first phase of what could be a multiday effort to come up with government policy on who should get the extra...

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From the Right
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A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted against green-lighting COVID-19 booster shots Friday for most people — throwing up a major hurdle for President Biden’s plan to dole out a third dose to most Americans.

But the independent panel, which reviewed a 23-page FDA briefing document highlighting recent studies,  recommended emergency use of a third dose for Americans over age 65 and those at high risk of severe infection.

The panel said more data is needed before it can okay boosters for people ages 16 and older, and that the...

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