FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The FDA advisory board rejected a plan for widespread Pfizer booster shots today, but recommends them for others.
The FDA panel only recommends boosters for people at high risk like those over 65 or people living with diabetes, heart disease or obesity.
The FDA does not have to follow the advice of this panel’s recommendation, but it usually does.
The Food and Drug Administration advisory panel shot down widespread Pfizer vaccine booster shots.
According to Senior Vice President of Pfizer Clinical Research and Development Dr. Bill Gruber, it is due to a lack of data from the company.
“The full duration of protection of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine is currently unknown,” Dr. Gruber said.
State epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha is already gauging what kind of impact that will have here in the Natural State.
“I think there will be confusion unfortunately about the booster doses and if people are having trouble sorting through the accurate versus the misinformation,” Dr. Dillaha said.
Health officials in the FDA panel meeting Friday voiced their concerns about vaccine efficacy.
“The reasons for this lower effectiveness likely includes both waning over time and the Delta variant,” said Dr. Sarah Oliver with the CDC.
But Dr. Dillaha said, if anything, the booster being rejected by the advisory panel should help the sense of vaccine hesitancy we are seeing across the state.
“The reason that they determined that they would not recommend the authorization of a booster is because vaccines are working very well.”