WASHINGTON, July 11 (Reuters) – COVID -19 vaccine maker Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) will meet with federal health officials as soon as Monday to discuss the need to increase the dose of coronavirus vaccine as it prepares to get permission, the company said on Sunday. .
The meeting comes days after the drugmaker and its partner BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE) announced plans to seek U.S. and European regulatory approval for a third dose of their COVID-19 shots amid the spread of the variant and data they say shows a six-month increased risk of infection after initial inoculation.
The push prompted a swift response from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying Americans don’t need a booster now. read again
On Monday, Pfizer is scheduled to meet with FDA representatives, a company spokesman said. The meeting was first reported by the Washington Post.
Representatives for the U.S. 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 directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as head of the National Institutes of Health and the CDC were also among those invited to the briefing, which could move on to another day, according to a Post report.
Fauci, in several televised interviews on Sunday, said that U.S. health officials did not rule out the possibility of future booster needs – especially since the spread of infection among those who have been vaccinated has emerged – but more data is needed for any official recommendations.
“There are a lot of dynamic things going on,” he told ABC News’ This Week program.
“There’s a study that’s being done right now when we’re talking about looking at possibilities about whether and when we should improve people … there’s a lot of work being done to research this in real time,” he added in the “State of CNN” unit. “
Despite the FDA and CDC’s statement, “that doesn’t mean that we don’t, very actively follow up and gather all this information to see if and when we might need it and if and when we do, we’ll have everything in place to do it.”
U.S. health officials are still working to get people in some counties to receive their early inoculations because the highly contagious Delta variant has become the nation’s dominant pressure, with COVID-19 cases increasing mostly among the unvaccinated. read again
European officials also say the vaccine currently appears to protect against variants. Canada also said it was monitoring variants and possible needs to improve. read again
While some scientists have also questioned the need for booster shots, others say they could be beneficial for the elderly and vulnerable populations, though it’s unclear when they’ll be needed. read again
Some public health experts have also expressed concern that empowering rich developed countries while other countries are still struggling against early inoculation will exacerbate vaccine inequality.
Reporting by Susan Heavey and Chris Prentice; additional reporting by Linda So; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama
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