The risk of mRNA Covid booster vaccinations causing heart inflammation in young adults continues to worry top scientists considering whether to approve a third dose for people over the age of 12, said Dr. Ofer Levy, a voting member of the Advisory Board of the Food and Drug Administration, on Friday.
Levy, the director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, spoke just hours after the FDA’s Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products unanimously recommended a second to all recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid vaccine over the age of 18 To give vaccination.
The panel previously recommended that the FDA approve Moderna and Pfizer boosters for all seniors and other high-risk groups. However, some committee members have raised concerns about allowing third doses of mRNA for people 12 years and older, given the risk of two rare heart infections, myocarditis and pericarditis.
“If we move into younger and younger age groups, they are less and less exposed to the personal risk of severe Covid and, on the other hand, a little more at risk with the mRNA vaccine,” Levy told CNBC “Closing”. Bell. “” So it’s a risk-benefit analysis, and that’s why you see this consideration. “
Although rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, myocarditis was found mainly in adolescent males and young adults who received a vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna. Cases usually occur within days of vaccination, usually after the second dose, and resolve with medication and rest, according to the CDC.
Unlike Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, J & J’s Covid vaccination is not associated with any risk of heart inflammation, the CDC says. Over 15 million Americans received their primary vaccine dose from J&J.
The data suggest that both two-dose mRNA options are comparatively more effective, but J&J submitted a study to the FDA that showed that a second dose increased protection against symptomatic infection from 72% to 94%.
However, with U.S. health officials considering introducing boosters for younger age groups, Israel has already begun giving boosters to anyone over the age of 12. Data presented to the committee suggested that Israel may already see herd immunity, he added.
“The priority is to keep people out of the hospital, to keep them alive,” Levy said. “But if we can achieve a level of immunity that will reduce the chances of you becoming infected or spreading it to others, that’s wonderful because that can lead us to herd immunity.”