Top health officials in the Biden administration are expected to recommend most Americans who are eligible should get a booster Covid-19 shot eight months after being fully vaccinated to help protect them against the virus.
The plan, which is still in development, would only apply to the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which require you to wait two weeks between doses. Previously, federal health officials had said booster shots were not needed by the general public.
The New York Times was first to report on the plan for boosters for most Americans.
An announcement could come as soon as this week but those plans could be moved. Last week, the FDA authorized third doses of the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines for those individuals who are immunocompromised and the CDC quickly moved to recommend giving those doses out.
If approved, health care workers, nursing home residents, and other older Americans could be the first in the country to get the third vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 198 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 168 million are fully vaccinated.
The news comes as the country is currently facing a surge of virus cases due to the highly transmissible delta variant, which is spreading rapidly in unvaccinated communities. Texas and Florida have seen an uptick in Covid-19 cases, making up 40% of all new cases in the U.S.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Monday they have submitted data to the FDA to support the use of a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Given the high levels of immune responses observed, a booster dose given within 6 to 12 months after the primary vaccination schedule may help maintain a high level of protection against COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the CDC said if more variants of the coronavirus continue to pop up, vaccines may prove to be ineffective against it. U.S. officials now seem to have come to the realization that the time for vaccinations may now be sooner rather than later.