WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is developing a plan to start offering coronavirus vaccine boosters to Americans eight months after completing their initial inoculations, and some Americans could begin receiving the shots as early as mid-September, The New York Times reported late Monday, citing sources familiar with the effort.
The administration’s decision could be announced as early as this week, with the highly transmissible delta variant, first detected in India, fueling the urgency of the booster rollout, the Times reported.
According to four people familiar with the decision, booster distribution would not occur until after an application from Pfizer-BioNTech for the additional shots is cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, The Washington Post reported.
Nursing home residents and health care workers are likely to receive the first available COVID-19 booster shots, followed by other older people near the front of the original vaccination line, the Times reported.
Officials envision giving people the same vaccine they originally received and have discussed launching the broader effort in October but have not settled on a timetable, the newspaper added.
According to the Post, just over 50% of Americans are currently fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, while millions of Americans remain firmly opposed to the measure.
The pending booster announcement is in stark contrast to public statements issued by senior officials in recent months indicating that it is far too soon to know if COVID-19 vaccine boosters are even needed, the Post reported, citing the following joint statement issued by the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July:
“Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time.”
According to the Post, the formal announcement of the vaccine booster rollout is tentatively slated for Wednesday.
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