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Pfizer to seek approval for booster shot to combat variants. FDA and CDC issue rare statement pushing back.

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Photo Illustration by Pavlo Conchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pfizer announced Thursday that it would be seeking emergency authorization from the Federal Drug Administration for a booster shot but the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immediately issued a rare statement pushing back on the possibility.

The pharmaceutical giant cited early data from a small study that indicated a third booster shot could help stop the spread of the coronavirus variants that are threatening a resurgence of the pandemic. That study said that a booster could increase neutralizing antibody levels by a factor of 5 to 10 times the original.

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