Aug 17, 2021 - Health

U.S. to advise COVID booster shots for most Americans at 8 months

 Freshman Alana Gill receives the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at Stony Brook University on April 6
A COVID-19 vaccination at New York's Stony Brook University. Photo: Raychel Brightman/Newsday RM via Getty Images

The Biden administration is coalescing around a plan to give COVID-19 booster shots to most Americans, the New York Times first reported Monday night.

What to expect: The booster shots would likely be given in the order the initial round of vaccines were administered, or around eight months after someone received the first two mRNA shots or the single Johnson & Johnson jab, a Biden administration official told Axios. This could potentially begin in late September.

  • The plan is still subject to approval by the Food and Drug Administration and a CDC advisory committee.

Driving the news: Officials are concerned by the nationwide surge in new coronavirus cases, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.

Between the lines: Biden administration officials have become increasingly concerned by new data showing the vaccines' effectiveness against infection has waned over time and as the Delta variant became dominant. Importantly, the vaccines still hold up well against serious disease.

  • Most of the data has been published by other countries or the vaccine makers themselves. But one preprint study published last week by the Mayo Clinic and nference was, as a senior Biden official put it to Axios, "a wakeup call."

Flashback: The CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna told Axios last May that coronavirus vaccine booster shots could be necessary as soon as September.

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