Executives with drugmaker Pfizer are worried nursing homes could be at risk of future COVID-19 outbreaks if they wait too long to administer booster shots, according to a report by the Washington Post.
The company’s concern stems from worries about the COVID Delta variant, and its own data showing immunity against the disease declines among vaccinated people over time, specifically in the elderly.
“Pfizer has publicly cited data from Israel showing that its vaccine remains effective against the delta variant in preventing hospitalizations and serious illness but has declining effectiveness at preventing milder cases. The company is most focused on whether boosters are needed for the elderly and most vulnerable,” the article states.
Pfizer officials are meeting with U.S. health officials this week about the need for a COVID vaccine booster shot. The company plans to seek regulatory approval for a third dose six to 12 months after people complete the two-shot regimen.
Federal health officials, however, said last week a booster shot is not needed for vaccinated people at this time.
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week issued a joint statement reaffirming the effectiveness of currently available COVID-19 vaccines. The agencies also stated they are engaged in a “science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary.”
“Several senior health officials said they think it will probably be appropriate to recommend boosters for the elderly and the most vulnerable, such as those who are immunocompromised, but stressed there will be a public process to make such an evaluation, according to two senior administration officials,” the Washington Post report stated.