US Covid-19 vaccine booster shot campaign to start with only Pfizer
A White House plan to offer Covid-19 vaccine booster shots will most likely start this month with only the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech, a narrower initiative than anticipated, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, Reuters reports.
United States President Joe Biden had expected to launch a campaign to administer 100 million booster shots on Sept 20. But US vaccine makers other than Pfizer have lagged in seeking authorisation of an additional dose.
A panel of experts that advises the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on vaccines plans to meet on Sept 17 to discuss additional doses of Pfizer's shot.
US health regulators are seeking additional coronavirus booster shot data from Moderna.
Moderna announced on Friday that it had "completed" its submission of data to the FDA for authorisation of boosters.
The FDA has been seeking more data as Moderna's submission rolled in, the people added.
In particular, the FDA is looking for more information on the efficacy of a 100mcg dose - the same as the first two shots people received - not just the 50mcg booster submitted by Moderna as a potential booster, one of the people said.
Whether the apparent impasse will spark a lengthy delay, or ultimately be resolved, is unclear.
Dr Anthony Fauci, Mr Biden’s chief medical adviser, told MSNBC in an interview on Friday that it did not appear the information needed for Moderna would be available in time for a Sept 20 roll-out.
"It may be a delay for a few weeks. We don't know," Dr Fauci said.