15 September (WNN) — Food and Drug Administration scientists said in a document Wednesday that a third dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine increases protection against the disease, but stopped short of recommending all Americans receive a booster shot.
In August, US health officials said they would make a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine available from September 20, largely as a result of the delta coronavirus variant, which is more contagious than the original strain.
President Joe Biden has also endorsed a third dose for those who received the original two-dose Pfizer vaccine. However, some experts have said that it is still too early to know for sure whether the majority of the public should take a third dose.
On Wednesday, FDA scientists echoed that caution, saying that a third dose appears to activate a greater immune response — but also said there’s no evidence yet that another shot is widely needed.
According to CNBC, the agency said, “There are several potentially relevant studies, but the FDA has not independently reviewed or verified the underlying data or their findings.”
The scientists noted that some studies show that the Pfizer vaccine declines in effectiveness over time, and some do not. They also said they are looking at studies in Israel that have downplayed the effectiveness.
Also on Wednesday, the FDA released a report from Pfizer that recommends a third dose.
Pfizer’s advice relies on vaccine data from the US and Israel that suggest the vaccine’s safety “decreases” between six and eight months after the second dose.
The FDA’s vaccine committee is set to meet Friday to discuss authorizing the third dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, which the pharma company has named Comirnati, for all recipients over the age of 16.