Health Officials Seek Approval for Fall Roll Out of COVID-19 Booster Shots
Today, public health and public health and medical experts laid out plans for the administration of COVID-19 booster shots in the US, beginning the week of Sept. 20, pending FDA approval.
Officials with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were among those who joined in issuing a statement today, concluding that “a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.”
“We have developed a plan to begin offering these booster shots this fall subject to FDA conducting an independent evaluation and determination of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issuing booster dose recommendations based on a thorough review of the evidence,” health officials said.
- Pfizer and Moderna: According to the announcement, health officials are prepared to offer booster shots beginning Sept. 20 and starting eight months after an individual’s second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
- Johnson & Johnson: Booster shots are also anticipated for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; however administration is not expected to begin in the US until March 2021, as health official await more data in the coming weeks.
Health officials say they are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease over time and based on its latest assessment, “the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout.”
Others joining in the announcement today were the US Surgeon General, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Assistant Secretary for Health, and the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.
Health officials continued to emphasize an urgency of vaccinating the unvaccinated in the US and around the world, saying that “nearly all the cases of severe disease, hospitalization, and death continue to occur among those not yet vaccinated at all.”