FDA Gives Pfizer a Group Chair

FDA Gives Pfizer a Group Chair

(ReliableNews.org) – The FDA granted Pfizer an emergency use authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 on October 29. The authorization came days after one of its committees recommended the shots for young kids. However, some are raising questions about some of the experts on that committee.

The National File reported some of the people on the FDA’s advisory committee had connections to Pfizer. The members in question are:

  • Committee member Archana Chatterjee, who once worked on a vaccine project sponsored by Pfizer;
  • Gregg Sylvester, former vice president for Pfizer vaccines;
  • Acting Chair Arnold S. Monto, a former consultant for the pharma company;
  • Geeta K. Swamy, a chair for a committee sponsored by Pfizer; and
  • Myron Levine, an acquaintance of the senior director of vaccine research and development at Pfizer, Raphael Simon.

It’s not uncommon for FDA advisory committees to include industry experts, even those who have worked for the company seeking approval. According to the FDA website, advisory committees are a mix of scientists, consumer representatives, FDA patient representatives and non-voting industry representatives.

Although it’s common to add these industry experts to the committee, there’s a question of whether it was wise given the controversy surrounding the process. It could lead some vaccine-hesitant people to believe the system is working for the pharma companies, not the people.

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