headline news news dispatch
BY Josh Mitteldorf Ph.D.
Madhava Setty, M.D.
In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — over the objections of the agency’s own advisors — authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 bivalent booster on an emergency basis, without any testing or demonstration that the products had any benefit in human beings. news dispatch
The only “emergency” was that collapsing demand for Pfizer’s original shots had caused a lapse in the drugmaker’s windfall profits.
Responding to this embarrassment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week published the first data on efficacy of the bivalent boosters.
Using the agency’s own data and methodology, we calculate an effectiveness of 9% compared to no vaccine at all. However, inexplicably, the CDC reported an effectiveness in the range of 19% to 50%, depending on previous vaccination history.