On Sunday, President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said officials would soon get the regulatory clearance to administer Covid-19 vaccine booster shots made by Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE). However, the Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) booster could take a little longer.
What Happened: In a recent interview, Fauci said that while Pfizer-BioNTech has submitted the necessary data on booster shots to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Moderna has yet to complete the process.
He said Moderna is collecting data to give to the FDA, which will decide whether to green-light the third dose of its vaccine.
Fauci said he hopes to give both vaccines when booster doses roll out, but if Moderna does not complete the process before Sept 20, then Moderna boosters will be given later.
“We hope that Moderna would also be able to do it so we could do it simultaneously, but if not, we’ll do it sequentially,” Fauci said. “So the bottom line is very likely at least part of the plan will be implemented, but ultimately the entire plan will be.”
In August, Fauci and top federal health officials announced that vaccinated Americans would need to get booster shots eight months after receiving their second vaccine dose, subject to approval from the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Why It Matters: Scientists in the U.S. are discussing how much additional immunity boosters provide and whether all Americans should get another shot, rather than just those at high risk of severe illness.
Top federal health officials said that the additional doses would be needed to maximize the vaccine’s protection against COVID-19 and extend its durability, especially given the dominance of the highly contagious Delta variant, the report said.
The surge in infections among younger Americans can be attributed to the transmissibility of the Delta variant, though the data being collected by federal health agencies does not give definitive information that the variant is more severe in children, Fauci said.
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