Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Booster Doses for the Elderly Are Coming, Analyst Says. Friday Is a Key Date.

New data has raised questions about the need for boosters.

Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Pfizer and federal health authorities have been at loggerheads in recent weeks over the need for booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines, but that could end soon, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee wrote in a note out late Tuesday.

Yee wrote that he expects the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory committee to recommend booster doses of Pfizer’s (ticker: PFE) vaccine for the immunocompromised and for adults aged 65 and older at its meeting this Friday.

He said he expects the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to update its emergency-use authorization to include booster doses for those groups by Labor Day. “We are adamant boosters for 2021-22 are coming,” Yee wrote in the note, which focused on Pfizer competitor Moderna (MRNA).

Yee noted that Moderna has said it will ask for authorization for a booster dose this winter. He wrote that he estimates that the FDA will approve boosts for the majority of the population by then, at which point he expects more symptomatic infections among vaccinated people.According to a draft agenda for the Friday meeting posted earlier this week by the CDC, a CDC staffer will present to the committee on “updates on additional doses in immunocompromised individuals,” and another will present on “considerations for booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines.”

“New data shows antibodies against Delta wane after 6-8m and breakthrough against Delta is rising,” Yee wrote. “We expect FDA to move to booster approvals.”

In early July, the FDA and CDC pushed back hard on Pfizer’s announcement that the company planned to submit data supporting an emergency-use authorization for a booster dose of their Covid-19 vaccine, saying that fully vaccinated Americans “do not need a booster shot at this time” in a statement issued hours after Pfizer’s announcement.

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