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FDA meets Friday to review Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster request

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MINNESOTA (KTTC) -- This Friday, the FDA will be considering new Pfizer data, specifically looking at COVID-19 immunity deriving from the vaccine. The hope is, this data will show whether the wider population should receive another dose.

"The situation is complicated and it's confusing and I think for a lot of people trying to figure out what all this means," Olmsted County Director of Public Health Graham Briggs said.

"Our understanding is that the advisory committee on immunization practices, which advises the CDC, is going to be meeting next week, and so we will learn more very shortly about the data and their deliberation," State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield said.

The discussion surrounding booster shots is more complicated because health experts, on the national level, are considering the world as a whole. Many countries do not have access to the large number of vaccine doses we do in America.

"There's a number of different options that they could go with. Everything from everybody should get a third shot...to nobody should get a third shot because we need to make this available for countries that haven't had any doses really available to the public," Briggs said.

Also, the current data is not conclusive on if vaccinated people's immunity is actually waning.

"There's a lot of debate right now. There's some saying there is waning immunity. There are others that are saying that there's not great data there in the population as a whole in the United States," Graham Briggs said.

"We have a plentiful supply and anticipate being able to administer the booster doses on whatever schedule is recommended," MN Director of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.

Minnesota health leaders say they will follow whatever the FDA and CDC recommend regarding COVID-19 booster shots.

As for those considered healthy who are wondering if they should get the third shot, Graham Briggs recommends keeping your eye on the situation as there should be some clarity after the FDA meeting Friday.

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Carli Petrus

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