February 1, 2023

CDC advisors recommend updated booster doses against covid-19

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(CNN) — Independent vaccine advisers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted 13-1 on Thursday to recommend the updated booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Both injections are bivalent vaccines that combine the companies’ original vaccine with one that targets the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of omicron.

Pfizer’s updated vaccine is a 30-microgram dose licensed for people 12 years and older. Moderna’s updated vaccine is a 50-microgram dose licensed for ages 18 and older.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also voted to reverse its previous recommendations for the original Moderna and Pfizer boosters for these age groups.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky will need to decide whether to approve the committee’s recommendation before the vaccines can be given.

An approval from the CDC would mean the updated boosters could be given in a matter of days, both to older people who received a booster just a few months ago and to younger people who have not been eligible for an additional booster during the omicron wave. .

modern vs. Pfizer-BioNTech 0:55

Several committee members said they were uncomfortable recommending a vaccine without supporting human performance data.

“We have been extrapolating the data that has been seen with the bivalent BA.1 and hopefully we will have similar data for BA.4 and BA.5,” said Dr. Pablo Sánchez, a pediatrician at Ohio State University and a member of the committee. .

“So I’m just worried about that extrapolation. And because, ultimately, I really don’t want to set a precedent of recommending a vaccine for which we don’t have clinical data,” says Sánchez.

That drew a swift rebuttal from government experts working with the committee.

“I’d like to remind the committee that every year we use flu vaccines that are based on new strains without clinical trials,” said Dr. Melinda Wharton, associate director for vaccine policy at the National Center for Immunization and Diseases. CDC Respiratory.

Dr. Doran Fink, deputy director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Vaccine Applications and Related Products, added, “I appreciate the amount of discomfort I hear from committee members who are being asked to take this step with covid-19 vaccines that they haven’t previously been asked to do with covid vaccines.”

“The FDA was very comfortable with the approach of extrapolating safety and efficacy, or rather known and potential benefits,” Fink said.

The updated boosters were cleared by the FDA on Wednesday. They do not replace the vaccines for the primary series.

About two-thirds of the total US population is vaccinated against Covid-19 with an initial series of vaccines, according to data from the CDC. However, less than half of those who have their initial series, and less than a third of the total population, have also received a booster dose.

CNN’s Naomi Thomas and Deidre McPhillips contributed to this report.



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