The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccine advisory panel will consider a third COVID-19 shot for immunocompromised individuals.
The panel will meet on July 22 to discuss “clinical considerations for additional doses in immunocompromised individuals,” the meeting’s agenda states.
Heavy debate around a third COVID-19 shot sparked last week after Pfizer said it would seek authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a third dose of its vaccine.
The company said the third dose would provide even stronger protection, citing data that showed the booster shot provided levels of neutralizing antibodies five to 10 times higher when administered six months after the second dose.
While U.S. health officials have not ruled out the possibility that booster shots will be needed, they have said a booster is not needed at this time.
Hours after Pfizer’s announcement, the FDA and CDC said in a rare joint statement that Americans who have been fully inoculated do not need a booster shot. After meeting with Pfizer officials on Monday, the Biden administration maintained that position.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also pushed back on the need for a third vaccine dose.
“Currently, data shows us that vaccination offers long lasting immunity against severe and deadly COVID-19,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday. “The priority now must be to vaccinate those who have received no doses and protection.”
Israel has begun administering a third dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to people with weak immune systems. This includes people with cancer, people who have undergone liver transplants and others who have weak protection from the vaccine.
However, the Israeli government indicated that it was unsure about administering a third dose to the general population.