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Tri-State citizens react to US panel rejecting plan for COVID-19 boosters

Group still recommends shots for people 65 and older, high-risk populations
Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 1:40 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A federal advisory panel has rejected a plan to offer Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to most Americans.

If the Food and Drug Administration follows the panel’s advice, it could make it harder to get a booster shot down the line, which has some people in the Tri-State thinking about whether they would get one if it was available.

On Friday, the panel met to decide whether a third dose of the COVID vaccine should be made available to Americans at large.

[READ MORE: US panel backs COVID-19 boosters only for elderly, high-risk]

After hours discussing, the group ultimately voted against the plan in a 16-3 decision.

Members of the panel said afterward that Pfizer didn’t show enough evidence the shots were necessary.

Some panel members say they should instead prioritize getting doses to people worldwide, as well as to those across the country who haven’t received the vaccine.

They do still recommend a third dose of the vaccine to people ages 65 and older, or those who are especially vulnerable to the virus.

The decision now moves to the FDA for approval. Although the agency generally follows the counsel of the advisory panel, it’s not a requirement.

Back in the Tri-State, some people are thinking about if they would get a booster shot.

“Well, I took the second one - I mean, it didn’t bother me,” says Sidney Beard, who’s in favor of getting a booster shot. “And I think it’s good, you know, it’s good for the country, like the polio shot.”

Others who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons say they would if they could because it’s stressful to be without it.

“It is, it is kind of stressful, but I mean, what do you do?” says Yvonne Beard, whose medical condition keeps her from getting vaccinated. “You know, you just try to be as safe as you can, and just go one with everyday life.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is planning to have its own panel of vaccine advisers vote on recommendations for booster doses next week.

The CDC must give its stamp of approval for any booster doses to be officially given.

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