DETROIT – Sources say federal health officials will recommend a third dose of the mRNA COVID vaccines to be given about eight months after the second dose.
The guidance could go into effect as early as mid-September. Health care workers, nursing home residents and other older Americans could be among the first to receive a third dose.
New data from Pfizer found that a third dose generated “significantly higher” neutralizing antibodies against the original strain of COVID and against beta and delta variants.
The FDA and CDC authorized a third dose for immunocompromised individuals last week. The White House has previously said the country has sufficient doses should a booster dose be needed.
The new guidance would only apply to those who received the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The data on Johnson and Johnson recipients are still being analyzed to determine if boosters may be recommended for them.
The World Health Organization has urged countries like the U.S. to hold off on third doses while so many remained unvaccinated worldwide.
“It’s a global problem. We need a global solution. It’s not only about one country. We have a limited amount of vaccine. There’s a limited amount of production,” epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said.
More details on a booster recommendation are expected to be released at a White House COVID response team briefing on Wednesday.