VRBPAC backs adding omicron-component to COVID-19 boosters

FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted today to recommend the use of variant-specific boosters.

Out of 21 voting members, 19 supported the use of a SARS-CoV-2 omicron component for COVID-19 booster vaccines.

“I want to be clear that this doesn’t mean that we are saying that there will be boosters recommended for everyone in the fall, but my belief is that this gives us the right vaccine in preparation for the potential need for boosters in the fall,” said VRBPAC member Dr. Amanda Cohn, chief medical officer at the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases at CDC.

“Over the coming months, I think we’ll get a sense, and there’ll be plenty of time for debate over who is most appropriate for boosters,” said CBER director Dr. Peter Marks.

Omicron and its subvariants such as BA.2, BA.4 and BA.4 continue to drive the bulk of COVID-19 infections.

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ACIP supports COVID-19 boosters for all adults

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted unanimously to allow all fully vaccinated adults to receive a COVID-19 booster at least six months after receiving a primary series.

All 11 members of the panel also voted to recommend boosters for adults 50 and older.

Last week, FDA authorized the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech (NYSE:PFE/NSDQ:BNTX) and Moderna (NSDQ:MRNA) boosters for all adults at least six months after completion of a primary series.

Previously, government authorities had recommended boosters for people 65 and older, those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, and those at high risk of exposure in occupational or residential settings.

Several states aimed to sidestep the federal government’s booster requirements by allowing all fully adults who received an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine to obtain a booster, provided at least six months had elapsed before receiving the second vaccine dose.

Guidance is m…

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