Covid-19: US hopes to start vaccine booster shots on Sept 20

A healthcare worker fills syringe with Pfizer vaccine in New York. — AP file
A healthcare worker fills syringe with Pfizer vaccine in New York. — AP file

Washington - The third dose of Pfizer vaccine is expected to start on September 20, pending approval from the FDA

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Published: Sun 5 Sep 2021, 8:26 PM

The US government’s top infectious disease expert said he believes delivery of Covid-19 vaccine booster shots will be able to start on September 20 for Americans who received Pfizer doses, while Moderna’s may end up rolling out a couple weeks later.

Dr Anthony Fauci told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that it is still the Biden administration’s plan “in some respects” to begin the third doses the week of September 20, pending approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The administration had hoped that both Pfizer and Moderna booster shots would be rolled out at that time. But Fauci said it is “conceivable” that for Moderna’s, there might be “at most a couple of weeks, a few weeks delay, if any,” while the company provides more data to the FDA on the booster’s efficacy.

President Joe Biden on August 18 touted boosters as a protection against the virus’ more transmissible delta variant, and said Americans should consider getting a booster eight months after their second shot.

Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, said on Sunday the administration had always made clear that September 20 was a target date, and “no one’s going to get boosters until the FDA says they’re approved”.

Klain told CNN: “We’re ready to go once the science says go.”

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