FDA advisory panel rejects widespread Pfizer booster shots

WASHINGTON (AP) – An influential federal advisory panel has rejected a plan to offer Pfizer booster shots against COVID-19 to most Americans. The vote Friday, 16-2, was a blow to the Biden administration’s plan to shore up people’s protection against the virus amid the highly contagious delta variant.

The panel did approve the extra doses for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease. The decision was made by a committee of outside experts who advise the Food and Drug Administration.

Over several hours of discussion, members of the Food and Drug Administration panel of outside experts voiced frustration that Pfizer had provided little data on safety of extra doses. And they complained that data provided by Israeli researchers about their booster campaign might not be suitable for predicting the U.S. experience.