FDA committee to vote Friday on whether to approve COVID-19 booster shots
A Food and Drug Administration committee is set to vote Friday on whether COVID-19 booster shots should be approved.
The Biden administration has been considering the approval of a third shot for everyone, but some health officials have questioned the need for the public to get additional jabs. The mixed messaging has caused confusion for many people.
"There's a lot of confusion so that's the problem," says Martha Bodhart, of East Meadow. "People don't know if it's good or bad or they don't have the means to know, that's where the problem comes."
The confusion has led some people to seek a third shot from clinics only to be turned away. The third dose has not been federally approved for the public. Only people with compromised immune systems are currently eligible.
"Right now, the CDC is strictly only allowing those that are immunocompromised, and it's not the same people that are immunocompromised when the vaccines first rolled out. These are people who are actually receiving chemotherapy, those that are HIV positive or who have a chronic health history, such as chronic kidney disease," says Amber Vitale, a nurse practitioner at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital.
The medical journal 'Lancet' recently published a review by scientists including a pair of senior outgoing FDA officials who argued against administering third doses to the public. Many experts are unsure the data is there to back up widespread use of boosters.
"There's this debate by a good number of the FDA scientists saying, listen, guys, slow down," says Dr. Saju Matthew, a public health specialist and primary care physician. "This vaccine is doing its job. It's preventing people from falling really sick and dying."
An FDA panel is set to begin discussions and vote on third doses Friday at 2:30 p.m. If the booster is approved, it would mean a third shot for everyone who received the Pfizer vaccine.