IVP: US regulator approves Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for seniors only

«The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has performed a careful and in-depth evaluation of research data regarding Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. The analysis is valuable and should be taken seriously,» says the chairman of Latvian State Immunisation Advisory Council (IVP) Dace Zavadska.
Last week the council released a statement. In it the institution stated that the most important objective in Latvia is increasing the coverage of Covid-19 vaccination, not rush in with booster shots.
The council notes that both from a scientific and legal aspect the decision as to whether and which groups may require booster shots may be made only once researchers acquire proof and precise epidemiological data and the European Medicines Agency approves such vaccination measures.
At the eight hour long meeting of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Research Committee last Friday it was decided to approve booster shots using Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for the 65+ age group and high risk group. FDA Research Committee voted against booster shots for people older than 16 years.
Read also: Companies: Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is safe to use on children aged 5 to 11 years
The vote regarding the possibility of administering a third Covid-19 vaccine shot for individuals older than 16 years was 16 to 3.
«Many of the expert group’s independent members, including infectologists, stressed at the meeting: scientific data suggests there is no reason to widen to use of vaccines,» notes Zavadska.
«Specialists also accepted the fact that adoption of booster shots would not affect the pandemic much. Experts stress that it would be better to distribute the vaccine doses planned for the third shot to corners of the world where people have not yet received even the first shot of the vaccine,» explains the professor.
Supporters of booster shots pointed towards the data that shows Pfizer vaccine efficacy against Covid-19 symptoms drops 96% to 84% after four months, whereas a third dose of Pfizer vaccine would increase efficacy to 95% against the Delta variant. They also added that if the percentage of vaccinated people in society does not reach sufficient levels and the pandemic keeps going, it will be necessary to boost people’s immunity.
«However, it is important to note and understand that the majority of registered Covid-19 vaccines still provide protection against severe infection and hospitalization with 90% efficacy,» says Dace Zavadska.
Latvian State Immunisation Advisory Council is responsible for an independent and scientific data-based advise to state institutions in topics related to immunization and vaccines.