The Biden government will announce that most vaccinated Americans should receive a COVID-19 booster eight months after being fully vaccinated. reported the New York Times Monday night
An official announcement is expected later this week, the Times said, and the first booster could be given to nursing home residents and health care workers as early as mid-September.
The Associated Press later confirmed the report, adding that the boosters would not be given until after the Food and Drug Administration officially approves the vaccines, a move expected in the coming weeks.
The Times reported that the move came amid mounting concerns about the spread of the Delta variant and Israeli studies suggesting protection by the vaccine – particularly Pfizer’s
PFE, + 0.89%
– gets weaker over time.
That a booster is needed isn’t a big surprise. Health experts have long claimed that COVID-19 booster vaccinations would be necessary at some point. On Sunday, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said boosters would likely be needed sooner rather than later.
“There is concern that the vaccine may become less effective,” Collins said on Sunday. according to the Associated Press. “And Delta is an uncomfortable attempt for us to deal with it. The combination of these two means that we may need boosters, perhaps first with health care providers as well as people in nursing homes, and then gradually moving forward with others.
Early monday Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted initial data to the FDA to help get a third dose of their vaccine approved. The companies said studies show that the antibody responses of people who received three syringes were stronger than those who received two, even against the Delta variant.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s lead pandemic advisor, said Sunday that every time a booster is approved, “We will be absolutely ready to do that very quickly.”
Last week, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both approved a booster vaccination for people with weakened immune systems.