The Biden administration will reportedly recommend Covid-19 booster shots to Americans eight months after their second jab, pending FDA approval, which could come as soon as September.
As with the initial vaccine rollout, the first shots will be given to residents of long-term care facilities, the elderly, and healthcare workers.
Those who took the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot will also be advised to get a booster eight months after their jab, according to The New York Times.
Federal health officials have been actively looking at whether extra shots for the vaccinated would be needed as early as this fall, reviewing case numbers in the U.S. as well as the situation in other countries such as Israel, where preliminary studies suggest the vaccine’s protection against serious illness dropped among those vaccinated in January.
An announcement on the U.S. booster recommendation was expected as soon as this week, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Doses would only begin to be administered widely once the Food and Drug Administration formally approves the vaccines. That action is expected for the Pfizer shot in the coming weeks. (AP)
“There is a concern that the vaccine may start to wane in its effectiveness,” said director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, on Sunday. “And delta is a nasty one for us to try to deal with. The combination of those two means we may need boosters..."
Last week, U.S. regulators authorized booster shots for some immunocompromised people.