Report: Plan for COVID-19 vaccine booster shot could be ready by September

The White House is pushing the Food and Drug Administration to put forth a plan as early as the first of September for Americans to receive a COVID-19 booster shot, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

>> Read more trending news

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the ongoing discussions with the FDA, the Journal reported that President Joe Biden is pushing the agency for the booster strategy because those who are older than 65 or who are immunocompromised could need a booster soon.

Those who received their vaccinations early on – in December of 2020 and January of 2021 – could need boosters as soon as this month, two of the people who spoke to the Journal on the condition of anonymity said.

An unnamed Biden administration member told CNN that whatever plan was agreed upon, the strategy would apply for all vaccinated people.

>> Moderna says COVID-19 booster shot may be needed this winter; WHO requests countries wait

Testing on booster shots is continuing, according to pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna. The FDA wants to review studies to rule out the possibility that a booster shot could cause someone to develop heart inflammation, according to the Journal story.

An FDA spokesperson said in a statement to media outlets that along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, the FDA is “evaluating potential solutions to questions on the use of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines.”

“The agencies are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary,” FDA spokesperson Abby Capobianco said in the statement.

Capobianco added that “in the near future” the FDA will share information on potential options for immunocompromised people, who face a greater risk from the virus than healthy people.

Last month, most of the CDC’s advisory panel supported the plan to give certain groups a third dose of the vaccine to boost their immunity. The agency called on the FDA to move forward with a plan.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday called for a moratorium on booster shots until at least the end of September. The international health organization said booster shots should be delayed to allow for at least 10% of each country’s population to be vaccinated.

Several countries have indicated they will go forward with booster shot programs despite the WHO call for a moratorium.

France, Germany, Israel, and the United Kingdom have said they intend to begin a booster program by September.

Pfizer has sought approval from the FDA for emergency use authorization for a booster shot, and on Thursday, Moderna said it intends to do the same.