Pfizer Mulls COVID-19 Booster EUA Request, Federal Government Reassures Vaccine Efficacy

This week, COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Pfizer and BioNTech released an update on the firms’ COVID-19 booster vaccine strategy, indicating continued booster trials have provided additional protection against the COVID-19 virus, particularly amid increased presence of virus variants. Pfizer and BioNTech point to recent studies regarding vaccine efficacy six- and 12-months post-vaccination and suggest a third dose may be needed to maintain protection against COVID-19. During media appearances this week, Pfizer representatives also indicated they intend to pursue an emergency use authorization (EUA) amendment request for the third booster shot of their vaccine.

Shortly after the companies’ announcement regarding booster vaccines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a joint statement indicating vaccines used in the U.S. continue to be highly effective against COVID-19 and there is no need for a booster shot at this time. The CDC, FDA, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) continue a science-based process to consider whether or when a COVID-19 booster dose may be necessary. The federal government commits to keeping the American public informed of any further developments on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

The CDC and FDA statement regarding the vaccines’ efficacy underscores recent data released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) finding that out of over 20 million vaccinated Californians, only 0.003 percent (584 people) contracted COVID-19 and required hospitalization. CDPH similarly finds the vaccines are overwhelmingly safe and encourages all state residents to receive their vaccine.