Top scientists are still weighing whether to approve third doses of COVID-19 vaccine for anyone over 12 years as the risks of booster shots causing heart inflammation continues to be a source of concern.
This comment was made by a voting member of the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel, Dr. Ofer Levy, according to CBNC.
Dr. Levy, who is also the director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, made the comment hours after second shots to all recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid vaccine over 18 years old was unanimously recommended by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.
What this means
Although, boosters from Moderna and Pfizer for all seniors and other high-risk groups has previously been recommended, some committee members have withheld their support for the authorization of third mRNA doses for people aged 12 and above due to the risk of two rare heart inflammation conditions, myocarditis and pericarditis as warned by scientists.
Dr. Levy said, “As we go into younger and younger age groups, they’re less and less at personal risk of severe Covid, and on the other hand, somewhat more at risk of this inflammatory heart condition with the mRNA vaccine. So, it’s a risk benefit analysis, and that’s why you’re seeing that deliberation.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the heart inflammation condition called myocarditis has been found mostly in male adolescents and young adults who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and these complications arise within days of vaccination and usually happens after the second dose, however, it subsides when treated with medicine.
Studies also show that unlike the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson’s Covid shot is not associated with a risk for heart inflammation and over 15 million Americans have received the primary vaccine dose from J&J.