CDC advisory committee meets to discuss current data on Pfizer’s COVID vaccine

Outside panel reviews safety, effectiveness data

Wednesday was the first day of a critical meeting involving the CDC’s advisory committee.

DETROIT – Wednesday was the first day of a critical meeting involving the CDC’s advisory committee.

The outside panel of experts is reviewing the ongoing safety and effectiveness data for the COVID-19 vaccines and last week’s recommendation that Pfizer’s boosters be authorized for those 65 and older or at high risk from COVID.

The main question that the advisory committee was driving toward was trying to decide which Americans should receive a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine. That decision won’t be made until Thursday. It will depend on any FDA announcement that is made on Wednesday.

During the nearly 6 hour meeting, the CDC’s panel of outside experts discussed and debated data on the available COVID-19 vaccines. A clear case was made that over time the antibody response to the vaccine decreases, especially in the elderly.

Although the immune response fell, coverage of the variants remained good. That data was presented by Dr. Bill Gruber from Pfizer as they made their case for the need to boost their two-dose series.

The panel also reviewed CDC data on a third dose from the safety monitoring systems in place. There was a fair amount of inquiry and discussion of the risk of myocarditis with a third dose. So far, there is no indication that it is more frequent than following the second dose. It is still considered very rare.

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About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.