The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is holding a virtual meeting Tuesday October 26 to discuss authorizing a Pfizer-BioNTech Coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 to 11 years old.
This committee has a lot of sway with the FDA and their findings will be relevant, considering California Governor Gavin Newsom has already announced that he will mandate the vaccine for elementary schoolchildren if the FDA approves it. But the meeting roster shows that numerous members of the committee and temporary voting members have worked for Pfizer or have major connections to Pfizer. Members include a former vice president of Pfizer Vaccines, a recent Pfizer consultant, a recent Pfizer research grant recipient, a man who mentored a current top Pfizer vaccine executive, a man who runs a center that gives out Pfizer vaccines, the chair of a Pfizer data group, a guy who was proudly photographed taking a Pfizer vaccine, and numerous people who are already on the record supporting Coronavirus vaccines for children. Meanwhile, recent FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is on Pfizer’s board of directors. HERE’S THE MEETING ROSTER: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee October 26, 2021 Meeting Draft Roster.
Acting Chair Arnold S. Monto was a paid Pfizer consultant as recently as 2018.
Steven Pergam got the Pfizer vaccine: Building trust in safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines (fredhutch.org)
Committee member Archana Chatterjee worked on a research project related to vaccines for infants between 2018-2020, and the research project was sponsored by Pfizer.
James Hildreth, temporary voting member, made a financial interest disclosure for this meeting in which he disclosed more than $1.5 million in relevant financial interests, including his work as president of Meharry Medical College, which administers Pfizer Coronavirus vaccines.
Geeta K. Swamy is listed as the chair of the “Independent Data Monitoring Committee for the Pfizer Group B Streptococcus Vaccine Program,” a committee sponsored by Pfizer. Duke University states that “Dr. Swamy serves as a co-investigator for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial.”
Gregg Sylvester previously served as a vice president for Pfizer Vaccines, where he launched Pfizer vaccines including one for children.
Among the meeting’s “temporary voting members,” Ofer Levy, Boston Children’s Hospital, is for the Pfizer vaccine for children, Eric Rubin is pro-vaccine for children, Jay Portnoy supports authorizing Coronavirus vaccines for kids, and Melinda Wharton complained over the summer about how orders for the CDC’s “Vaccines For Children” program dropped.
FDANews stated last December: “FDA advisory committee members in the past have frequently been the target of heavy politicking by industry representatives of whatever drug they were considering for a recommendation at in-person meetings. That process has been somewhat altered by the fact that during COVID-19, meetings are being held virtually. But it’s likely that behind-the-scenes pressuring still goes on. The industry defends the attempts to influence committee members as simply efforts to best present their case.”