The Biden administration is preparing to administer a third COVID-19 shot from vaccine developers Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna beginning Sept. 20, subject to authorization from the Food and Drug Administration and sign off from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A joint statement issued confirming the booster program was signed by CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, acting FDA commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and other U.S. health leaders, CNBC reported.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations for both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, specifically, solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromised.
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“The available data make very clear that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination, and in association with the dominance of the Delta variant, we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease,” the statement read.
The plan calls for all Americans who received Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna to obtain a third shot eight months after their second dose.
A booster dose is likely needed for those who received the single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson, but the plan will be announced later as relevant data are still under review, according to officials.
The U.S. government has reportedly acquired one billion total doses of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.