USA – With half of US fully vaccinated, the Biden administration plans to begin administering COVID-19 booster shots to Americans as early as mid or late September, pending authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Health officials in U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration gathered round the view that most people should get a booster shot eight months after they completed their initial vaccination, sources have indicated.
According to the New York Times, which earlier reported the development, officials are planning to announce the administration’s decision as early as this week, with the first boosters likely to go to nursing home residents and health care workers, followed by other older people.
Last week, U.S regulators authorized a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech and Moderna Inc for people with compromised immune systems who are likely to have weaker protection from the two-dose regimens.
An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted to recommend the additional shots, and the agency’s director signed off on that recommendation on Friday. Immunocompromised individuals can begin receiving the shots immediately, according to an agency spokesperson.
Mixing of mRNA vaccines is permitted for the third shot if their original vaccine is not available.
The administration’s goal is to let those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines know that they will need additional protection against the Delta variant of the coronavirus, NYT said.
The newspaper added that officials also expect recipients of the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which was authorized as a one-dose regimen, will also require an additional dose.
These discussions continue to spike mixed reactions among international health bodies and leaders around the world.
At the beginning of the month, The World Health Organization called for a moratorium on COVID-19 vaccine boosters until at least the end of September.
The move was to enable that at least 10 percent of the population of every country was vaccinated, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
High-income countries administered around 50 doses for every 100 people in May, and that number has since doubled, according to WHO. Low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people, due to lack of supply.
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