US FDA advisers to discuss additional COVID vaccines and design of booster


People line up to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Tower Theater in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S., January 11, 2022. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

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April 4 (Reuters) – U.S. Food and Drug Administration expert advisers will discuss the timing of additional COVID-19 vaccine boosters and who is eligible for the additional shots at a meeting later this week, it said. Monday the health agency.

The independent advisers will also discuss at the April 6 meeting the FDA’s role in creating future versions of COVID vaccines to help fight new variants.

It could be similar to the current seasonal flu vaccine composition selection process, where regulators choose which strain to use for the coming year’s vaccines, FDA staff said in briefing documents. before the meeting.

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“Implicit in all of this is the notion that we will need additional reminders down the road,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

In late March, US health authorities authorized a second booster dose of the Moderna (MRNA.O) and Pfizer (PFE.N) vaccines for people aged 50 and over, citing data showing waning immunity and the risks posed by the Omicron variants of the virus. Read more

About 45% of fully vaccinated people in the United States have received a booster dose, according to federal data.

“The biggest concern many of us have is the acceptability of continuous reminders,” Schaffner said.

FDA staff said Monday that newer variants are often more infectious, transmissible and distinct from earlier virus strains.

“The accumulating data suggests that the composition of vaccines may need to be updated at some point to ensure the high level of efficacy demonstrated in early clinical vaccine trials,” FDA staff said in documents. information before the April 6 meeting.

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Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Sriraj Kalluvila

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