Indian American FDA panel member votes against Pfizer’s vaccine citing lack of data on ‘younger participants’

A member of a federal panel that voted Thursday to move forward with an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine said that she voted against the candidate citing a lack of data on younger participants. 

Archana Chatterjee, Dean of the Chicago Medical School, told CNN anchor Erin Burnett during a panel segment on “OutFront” that she is for the use of a coronavirus vaccine in legal adults. 

“I want to make it very clear that I am fully supportive of the emergency use authorization of this vaccine for use in adults 18 years and older. I think we are facing a deadly pandemic, and the vaccine, in addition to all the countermeasures, are needed to try to control the pandemic,” said Chatterjee. 

“The issue I had was with regard to the data as Dr. Thomas mentioned in those younger patients excusing those younger participants, where I felt like the data were limited,” she added. “And since they are not a high-risk category, at this point in time they’re not high priority for vaccination.”

A 21-person Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel composed of outside experts, including Chatterjee, on Thursday voted 17-4 to move forward with an emergency authorization from the agency. 

Chatterjee was one of four who voted against recommending the vaccine.

“For those reasons, I thought it would be important to vote no and bring that to the attention to the FDA,” Chatterjee continued. 

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