FDA advisory panel rejects widespread Pfizer booster shots

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FILE – In this July 22, 2021, file photo, health care worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. U.S. health officials Wednesday, Aug. 18, recommended all Americans get COVID-19 booster shots to shore up their protection amid the surging delta variant and evidence that the vaccines’ effectiveness is falling. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An influential federal advisory panel has soundly 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 effort to shore up people’s protection against the virus amid the highly contagious delta variant.

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 the 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.

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