Some experts questioned whether Modernna had gathered enough information about possible side effects. Regulators and scientists are particularly concerned about the risk of heart disease, myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, or inflammation of the lining around the heart.
The FDA in June added warnings about the risks of Pfizer-Biotech and Modern vaccines, and on Thursday officials cited a higher risk among men between the ages of 18 and 25 who were fully vaccinated with Modern or Pfizer-Biotech.
An important part of Thursday’s talks revolved around a booster campaign for Israel’s Pfizer-Biotech vaccine. The Biden administration is closely monitoring Israel’s experience, as the country has a nationalized healthcare system that allows it to closely monitor vaccine recipients.
A top Israeli health official told the committee that his government’s booster campaign had changed the course of the epidemic there. He said Israel has seen dramatically lower rates of both infections and deadly diseases among those who received booster shots. It was not clear, however, whether other factors, such as the collapse of the Delta variant, had an impact.
Dr. Mark Mark Sawyer, a professor at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, said that although the modern vaccine was different, Israeli data is mandatory.
But Dr. of the National Institute of Health. Kurilla questioned whether Israel’s booster campaign deserved so much credit, noting that the country’s recent decline in infection rates seemed to match the previous wave of viruses.
He asked Dr. Shar Sharon Alroy-Pres, director of Israel’s public health service, whether he believed a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine would extend protection in the long run, or for another booster, “You’ll be back in six more months.”
Dr. Al Alroy-Press noted that some vaccines provide protection for years after a booster shot. Whether this is true of the coronavirus vaccine, he said, “is a million-dollar question.”