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A European box of Pfizer's pneumococcal vaccine. Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP via Getty Images

In a narrow 8-6 vote today, a federal vaccine advisory panel shot down its 2014 recommendation that all adults 65 and older get a pneumococcal vaccine called Prevnar 13. Instead, the panel said seniors should get the vaccine based on conversations with their clinicians.

Why it matters: Seniors can still get the shot, but the vaccine won't be universally recommended — to the dismay of the vaccine makers. Pfizer sells Prevnar 13, and the drug company's stock shot down 2% once investors learned of the vote.

Details: Several members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said this vote was one of the most difficult they've encountered.

  • The current evidence, presented during today's meeting, shows the vaccine only had marginal benefits for adults 65 and older.
  • However, Prevnar 13 is still universally recommended for children younger than 2.

What they're saying: Because more children are taking the vaccine and fewer are getting sick with pneumococcus, fewer older adults are getting exposed and sick, the experts said.

  • Supplying Prevnar 13 for adults "is not where the public health bang for the buck is," and "we're diluting the message that vaccinating the children is important," said Paul Hunter, a committee member and public health official in Milwaukee who voted against the 2014 recommendation.

1 money thing: Prevnar 13 is Pfizer's best-selling drug. U.S. sales exploded in 2015 after the CDC's recommendation, and although insurance will still cover the pricey vaccine, sales would drop if fewer adults feel like they need to get it.

Go deeper

49 mins ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.