President Joe Biden said Friday that he and Dr. Anthony Fauci have discussed moving up the timeline of COVID-19 booster shots to five months after Americans receive their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Previously, the plan by the Biden administration was to administer booster shots eight months after the second vaccination.
President Biden revealed that he was considering speeding up booster shots by three months during an Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday.
"The question raised is should it be shorter than eight months? Should it be as little as five months? That's being discussed," Biden told the press about the booster shot timeline. "I spoke with Dr. Fauci this morning about that."
Biden did not reveal what Fauci, who is the chief medical adviser to the president on COVID-19, recommended as far as the optimum booster shot time.
Biden said booster shots for Americans "will start here on Sept. 20 pending approval of the FDA and the CDC committee of outside experts."
In regard to the interval between the second and third COVID-19 shot, Biden said Bennett advised him to "start earlier."
Bloomberg reported that Biden's decision is "relying substantially on data from Israel."
Shortly after Biden made the comments to accelerate the booster shot timeframe, "a White House official said there had been no change in the plan to administer boosters after eight months," Bloomberg noted.
President Biden says there are discussion with federal health officials about offering COVID booster shots as early… https://t.co/KiWBJh1RPi— CBS News (@CBS News)1630087617.0
Biden's senior health team announced on Aug. 18 that booster shots would be available on Sept. 20 for those who received their second vaccine dose eight months prior. On Aug. 25, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration was looking into having boosters available after six months from the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
The booster timeline is still subject to authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.
Pfizer and BioNTech have requested FDA approval for a booster shot. Thus far, the FDA only approved emergency use authorizations for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna booster vaccines for "the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, specifically, solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise."
The World Health Organization has pleaded with wealthy nations to hold off on booster shots so that the third world could get vaccinations.
"We need an urgent reversal from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries, to the majority going to low income countries," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing earlier this month.