Israel will be presenting data from an extensive rollout of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this month. The news comes as the agency is weighing White House plans to start a booster drive in the United States.
Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health at Israel’s Health Ministry, said the ministry was asked by the FDA to brief its advisors at a Sept. 17 meeting. It is a virtual presentation that will touch on a third booster shot for those who got Pfizer vaccines. “We have been asked to come and present Israel’s experience and our data so that we can truly help the whole world to learn,” Alroy-Preis added.
Israel’s data will include collated information since the country started offering a Pfizer vaccine booster shot last week. The booster shot can be given to people as young as 13 years old, according to a Reuters report.
According to Israeli health officials, the move slowed the rise in severe illnesses caused by the Delta variant of coronavirus. Israeli health officials added that the effectiveness of the second dose of Pfizer already waned five months after it was given. Hence, providing a booster shot was necessary to restore the level of protection that the second shot has against COVID-19.
As of writing, 2.6 million people of the 9.3 million in Israel already received a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
The U.S. is looking at giving a booster shot to its citizens this September. President Joe Biden expects to launch the campaign to administer 100 million booster shots by Sept. 20. However, only a Pfizer booster shot is allowed.
As far as other drugmakers are concerned, Moderna just submitted its data for regulatory approval for a booster shot last week. Johnson & Johnson has not asked regulators to approve their booster shot yet and noted that it is still discussing it with the FDA.