Israel health officials on Thursday said that booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine improved severe disease protection in people aged 40 and older, in presentations made to U.S. scientists discussing a booster dose of Moderna's vaccine.
The data was reported at a meeting of outside advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who are expected to vote on the need for booster shots of the Moderna Inc vaccine later on Thursday. The FDA typically follows the advice of its experts but is not bound to do so.
If the FDA signs off on Moderna's boosters, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make specific recommendations on who should get the shots.
"What we're seeing is a break in the epidemic curve in Israel," said Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, director of public health services at the Ministry of Health in Israel.
She said the booster vaccination program, which now includes 50% percent of the population among all age groups, is starting to reduce infections even among the unvaccinated populations in Israel.
Israel, which has been closely monitoring vaccines in its population, said in a slide presentation that administering a booster dose led to greater protection against confirmed infection in those aged 16 and above.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru, Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago and Caroline Humer; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Lisa Shumaker) ((email@example.com;))