Some experts questioned whether Moderna had collected enough data on potential side effects. Regulators and scientists are particularly concerned about the risks of the heart conditions myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, or inflammation of the lining surrounding the heart.
The FDA attached warnings about those risks to Pfizer-BioEntech and Moderna vaccines in June, and officials on Thursday cited a higher risk in men between 18 and 25 who were treated with either Moderna or Pfizer-BioEntech. was vaccinated from.
A major part of Thursday’s discussion revolved around Israel’s booster campaign for a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Biden administration is watching Israel’s experience closely, as the country has a nationalized health care system that allows it to closely track vaccine recipients.
A top Israeli health official told the committee that his government’s booster campaign had changed the course of the epidemic there. She said Israel saw dramatically lower rates of both infection and serious illness in people who had not received a booster shot. However, it was not clear whether other factors, such as the decline of the delta version, also had an effect.
Mark Sawyer, a professor in the School of Medicine at the University of California San Diego, said that even though the Moderna vaccine was different, the Israeli data was compelling.
But Dr. Kurilla of the National Institutes of Health questioned whether Israel’s booster campaign should be given that much credit, noting that the country’s latest drop in infection rates seems to fit with previous waves of the virus.
He asked Israel’s director of public health services, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, whether she believed that Pfizer’s third injection of the vaccine would provide long-term protection, or whether you would wait “another six months” for another booster. I will come back”.
Dr. Alroy-Preis notes that some vaccines provide protection for years after the booster shot. Whether this is true of coronavirus vaccines, she said, is “the million-dollar question.”