Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla praised CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky for endorsing booster shots against the recommendations of two top scientific advisory panels, calling her move “a very good” decision.
“At the end of the day, I think the decision that they made is a very good one, and we are looking forward to be able to vaccinate all these wonderful people so we can put an end to this pandemic,” Bourla said on ABC’s “This Week.”
When asked about prioritizing administering jabs to people with initial doses rather than boosters, Bourla of course advocated for more of his company’s vaccines in general.
“I think it is also not the right thing to try to resolve it with an ‘or’ when you can resolve it with an ‘and,’” he said. “It’s not that should we give boosters or give primary doses to other people. I think the answer should be let’s give both.”
“I think it’s not right to decide if you’re going to approve or not boosters based on other criteria other than if the boosters are needed,” Bourla added.
On Friday, Walensky overruled her agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on boosters, who had voted against administering boosters to younger at-risk workers.
“I am surprised that Dr. Walensky overturned one of the four ACIP votes today, and I believe others will be as well,” Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, an infectious disease expert on the committee, told The New York Times.
Walensky also snubbed the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, who voted 16-2 not to support Biden’s booster shot program except for only the most at-risk individuals over 65.
Walensky claimed she didn’t “overrule” the CDC committee, she just made a “scientific close call.”
“I listened to the comments on the votes and this was a scientific close call,” she said. “And, I think you could tell by the duration of the meeting and the discussions that this was a scientific close call.”
Pfizer is predicted to make about $26 billion from U.S. booster distribution.
That figure may go up now that Walensky bucked the science in endorsing the pharmaceutical company’s booster shots.