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Photo: Andi Rice/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Top government health officials are warning the White House to scale back a plan to offer coronavirus booster shots beginning Sept. 20, contending that regulators need more time to collect and review necessary data for a third dose, sources confirm to Axios.

Why it matters: Officials are now weighing whether the plan will have to be modified as the Delta variant makes up for the majority of COVID-19 cases in U.S. and hospitals fill up with coronavirus patients, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: In August, President Biden said the government would offer boosters beginning the week of Sept. 20 to adults who received their shots of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna at least eight months ago.

  • Now, regulators may need more time to decide the proper dosage for a possible third Moderna shot. Pfizer finalized its booster application to the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week, and Moderna has recently initiated its own.
  • The FDA and CDC said their agencies may be able to determine in the coming weeks whether to recommend boosters only for those who received the Pfizer vaccine, the Times reports.

What they're saying: “We always said we would follow the science, and this is all part of a process that is now underway,” White House spokesman Chris Meagher told the Times.

  • “When that approval and recommendation are made we will be ready to implement the plan our nation’s top doctors developed so that we are staying ahead of this virus,” Meagher added.

Go deeper: Biden administration unveils plan for vaccine boosters starting in September

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Oct 26, 2021 - Health

FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-to-11-year-olds

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel Tuesday endorsed a two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5–11. The final vote was 17 members in favor, with one member abstaining.

Why it matters: While not binding, the decision is a long-awaited step toward getting COVID vaccines in the arms of some of the youngest Americans potentially in time to get many fully vaccinated in advance of the holiday season.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot — FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-11 year olds — Moderna says vaccine shows strong immune response in kids
  2. Health: 96% of Tyson Foods employees vaccinated ahead of mandate deadline — U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers — Those who miss work without pay due to COVID also had food insecurity
  3. Politics: Louisiana lifts mask mandate except for some schools — Alabama governor orders state agencies to fight federal vaccine mandate — Axios-Ipsos poll: Confidence in Biden COVID recovery tumbles
  4. Education: Benefits of vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says — Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Oct 26, 2021 - Health

96% of Tyson Foods employees vaccinated ahead of mandate deadline

Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

Tyson Foods said Tuesday that more than 96% of its workers have received the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the company's Nov. 1 deadline to get all employees vaccinated.

Driving the news: Tyson Foods CEO Donnie King said nearly 60,000 additional workers received the shots after the company announced its vaccine mandate in August. At the time, a little less than half of all employees had been vaccinated.