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Israeli member of FDA panel says all vaccinated Israelis should get booster

Dr. Ofer Levy of Boston Children's Hospital speaks with Israel's Channel 12 news in an interview aired on September 18, 2021. (Screen capture: Channel 12)
Dr. Ofer Levy of Boston Children's Hospital speaks with Israel's Channel 12 news in an interview aired on September 18, 2021. (Screen capture: Channel 12)

An Israeli member of the FDA advisory panel that voted only to okay booster shots of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for older Americans and others deemed high-risk defends the decision not to approve extra doses for anyone over 16 in an interview with Israeli television.

“We went over a lot of data, a lot of documents, we did complicated work yesterday, but in my opinion it came out the right way,” Dr. Ofer Levy of Boston Children’s tells Channel 12 news.

Asked why he voted against administering booster shots more widely, he says, “There are a lot of figures that show us that a third dose will help and its safe, but in our opinion… we need to see more data concerning youths before we vote in favor of a third dose.”

Levy says that he “felt some sort of pride” in seeing Israeli researchers present the panel with data in favor of booster shots, which Israel offers to all those over 12, and that their presentation “really helped all the people on our committee.”

He adds that all Israelis eligible to get booster shots should do so, despite his vote yesterday.

“They definitely need to get vaccinated… there’s no doubt that the vaccine effectively protects against the worst effects of the coronavirus,” he says. “We’re in a much different situation here in the United States.”

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