The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding a virtual meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) tomorrow, Wednesday, April 6, to weigh up considerations for future COVID-19 vaccine booster doses.
Along with the independent experts of the advisory committee, representatives from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will participate in the meeting.
The forum is intended to assist the agency in developing a general framework that will inform its regulatory decision-making on what might warrant updating the composition of COVID-19 vaccines to address specific variants as well as the timing and populations for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in the coming months.
Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said COVID-19 is becoming a virus like others such as influenza.
“Bringing together our panel of expert scientific external advisors in an open, transparent discussion about booster vaccination is an important step to gain insight, input and expert advice as we begin to formulate the best regulatory strategy to address COVID-19 and virus variants going forward.”
And yet, a week ahead of those discussions, the FDA revealed that a decision had already been made for older and certain individuals with weakened immunity, with it authorizing a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for that segment of the US population.
No vote is planned at tomorrow’s meeting and there will not be any discussion of any product-specific applications, confirmed the agency.