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Pfizer said on Sunday that it will meet with federal health officials as soon as Monday to discuss the need for a third booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine.
The meeting comes days after the vaccine maker and its partner BioNTech announced plans to seek U.S. and European regulatory approval for a third dose of their COVID-19 shot amid the spread of variants and data they said showed heightened risk of infection six months after initial inoculation.
That push prompted a quick response from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying Americans do not need a booster right now.
President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, who also directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will be among those invited to the briefing.
On Sunday, Fauci said U.S. health officials were not dismissing the possible future need for boosters but that more data is needed for any formal recommendation.
FAUCI ON CBS' FACE THE NATION: "Certainly, it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely, that at some time we will need a boost. It may be differentially needed depending upon the age of individuals and their underlying conditions... Now, right now, what the CDC and the FDA said in a joint statement is that, at this time, we don't see the need for it."
U.S. health officials are still struggling to get people in some areas to receive their initial inoculations as the highly contagious Delta variant has grown to be the nation's dominant strain, with COVID-19 cases rising mostly among the unvaccinated.