FDA Panel nixes Covid-19 booster; Local clinics continue to offer third jab


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Today an advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration voted against recommending a COVID-19 booster for people under the age of 65 saying that Pfizer did not provide enough data on whether it would be safe.

This as vaccine clinics in El Paso are offering a third dose.

The FDA panel voted 16 -2 against recommending the booster during an all day meeting. Last month,
President Joe Biden announced a booster roll out plan which is set to start this Monday, however, the move was made before the FDA could check the science or review all the data. In fact, directly after Biden approved the boosters, a pair of senior FDA officials announced their plans to step down from their roles.

In addition, a group of leading scientists wrote an article in The Lancet, a peer reviewed medical journal, saying “High stakes decisions like these should be based on robust evidence and international scientific discussion.”

Biden’s booster roll out and conflicting scientific conclusions have sparked confusion in the community with many wondering which message they should listen to.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center – El Paso continues with their vaccine clinic with Dr. Richard Lang saying they are fully aware of the panel’s recommendations and are targeting a very specific group for the third shot, “We are targeting the high risk groups but there could be people who are younger than 64 in a high risk category that is if they develop infection, have co-morbid condition that would render them to have a severe illness, and some that are around children who can’t be vaccinated.”

The FDA panel did recommend the booster shot for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease. Dr. Lang said that he would inform those coming in to get vaccines of the panels recommendations if they asked.

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