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Fauci says Pfizer booster shot likely approved by Sept. 20, Moderna to follow

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, arrives to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Tuesday, July 20, 2021
New York Times/Pool

Anthony Fauci on Sunday said the Pfizer-BioNTech shot will likely be the only approved COVID-19 vaccine booster by Sept. 20, the date the Biden administration previously recommended for beginning to administer booster shots for all fully vaccinated individuals.

When asked by guest host Weijia Jiang on CBS’s “Face the Nation” if the Biden administration is still planning to administer booster shots starting Sept. 20, Fauci said that is still the plan “in some respects,” noting that Pfizer will likely be ready at that date but that Moderna will need some additional time for appropriate approval.

“We were hoping that we would get the, both the candidates, both products, Moderna and Pfizer, rolled out by the week of the 20th. It is conceivable that we will only have one of them out, but the other would likely follow soon thereafter,” Fauci said.

“And the reason for that is that we, as we’ve said right from the very beginning, we’re not going to do anything unless it gets the appropriate FDA [Food and Drug Administration] regulatory approval and then the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Looks like Pfizer has their data in and likely would meet the deadline,” he added.

Fauci told Jiang that while health officials had hoped to roll out both booster shots “simultaneously,” they will do it “sequentially” if they have to.

“So the bottom line is very likely at least part of the plan will be implemented but ultimately the entire plan will be,” he added.

Top Biden administration health officials released a joint statement last month that said people will need booster shots eight months after receiving a second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Fauci, who is currently serving as President Biden’s chief medical adviser, suggested that people receive the same booster shot as the original shot they were inoculated with, but he noted that studies are underway to determine if mixing vaccines is effective.

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