Pfizer and U.S. health officials to discuss COVID boosters on Monday – business


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WASHINGTON, July 11 (Reuters) – COVID-19 vaccine maker Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) will meet with federal health officials on Monday to discuss the need for a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine as it is preparing to apply for a permit, the company said on Sunday.

The meeting comes days after the drugmaker and its partner BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE) announced their intention to seek U.S. and European regulatory approval for a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine amid the spread of variants and data that they believed showed an increased risk of infection. six months after the initial inoculation.

The surge prompted a swift response from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying Americans did not need a booster just yet.

Pfizer is scheduled to meet with FDA officials on Monday, a company spokesperson said. The meeting was first reported by The Washington Post.

Representatives of the US Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden who also heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as heads of the National Institutes of Health and the CDC were also among the guests at the briefing, which could move on to another day. , according to the Post report.

Fauci, in several TV interviews on Sunday, said U.S. health officials were not oblivious to the possible need for boosters – especially as breakthrough infections among those who were vaccinated emerged – but more data is emerging. necessary for any formal recommendation.

U.S. First Lady Jill Biden watches Alfred Lee Smith get vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center at Alfred E. Beach High School in Savannah, Georgia, United States, July 8 2021. Jim Watson / Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY / File photo

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“There’s a lot of dynamic stuff going on right now,” he told ABC News’ “This Week”.

“Studies are underway as we talk about examining the feasibility of whether and when we should stimulate people… there is a lot of work going on to look at this in real time,” he added on. State of “from CNN. The union.”

Despite the statement from the FDA and CDC, “This doesn’t mean that we don’t very, very actively track and collect all of this information to see if and when we might need it and if and when we will. will have everything in place to do so. “

U.S. health officials are still struggling to ensure that people in certain areas receive their initial inoculations, as the highly contagious Delta variant has become the dominant strain in the country, with COVID-19 cases increasing mainly among non vaccinated.

European officials also said the vaccines currently appear to be protective against the variants. Canada has also said it is monitoring variants and the possible need for boosters.

While some scientists have also questioned the need for the booster shots, others said they could be beneficial for the elderly and other vulnerable populations, although it is not clear when they would be needed. .

Some public health experts have also expressed concern that allowing boosters in wealthy developed countries while other countries are still battling initial inoculations would further exacerbate inequalities in immunization.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Chris Prentice; additional reporting by Linda So; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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