Health officials in the U.S. are coalescing behind a COVID-19 booster shot for all Americans eight months after they've received the second shot, a source familiar with the discussions confirmed to Fox News.
News outlets including the Associated Press and Reuters first reported on the planned booster recommendation. The third dose would only be administered after the Food and Drug Administration formally approves the vaccines, the source said. Current planning is to begin administering the booster shots as soon as mid to late September.
The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News. The FDA has already expanded the emergency use authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines to authorize a booster shot for certain immunocompromised patients.
Pfizer and BioNTech said Monday that a third dose is safe and elicits an antibody response at levels that "significantly exceed" those seen in individuals who receive two doses of the jab.
The companies revealed the Phase 1 data when announcing that it had been submitted to the FDA.
"Vaccination is our most effective means of preventing COVID-19 infection – especially severe disease and hospitalization – and its profound impact on protecting lives is indisputable," Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chairman and CEO, said in a news release. "The data we’ve seen to date suggest a third dose of our vaccine elicits antibody levels that significantly exceed those seen after the two-dose primary schedule. We are pleased to submit these data to the FDA as we continue working together to address the evolving challenges of this pandemic."
Among the first to receive them could be health care workers, nursing home residents and other older Americans, who were among the first Americans to be vaccinated.
Israel has been offering a coronavirus booster to people over 60 who were already vaccinated more than five months ago.
Fox News' Alex Hein and the Associated Press contributed to this report