CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — This summer the White House announced that COVID vaccine booster shots would start to become available to Americans on Sept. 20. But with two weeks to go before that date, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Face The Nation that third doses from Cambridge-based Moderna may not be ready by then.
“We were hoping that we would get both the candidates, both products, Moderna and Pfizer, rolled out by the week of the 20th,” said Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor. “It is conceivable that we will only have one of them out, but the other will likely follow soon thereafter.”
Fauci said that unlike Pfizer’s vaccine booster, there is insufficient data right now on the safety and efficacy of Moderna’s booster dose.
“We hope that Moderna would also be able to do it so we could do it simultaneously, but if not, we’ll do it sequentially,” Fauci said. “So the bottom line is very likely at least part of the plan will be implemented, but ultimately the entire plan will be.”
WH chief medical advisor Dr. Fauci says Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster will “likely” meet the Sept. 20 deadline: “The bottom line is very likely, at least part of the plan will be implemented, but ultimately the entire plan will be.” pic.twitter.com/mkjUciQKMX
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) September 6, 2021
On Sept. 1, Moderna announced it had submitted initial data to the FDA on its booster dose. It said the booster “induced robust antibody responses of more than 40x against the Delta variant.”
The length of a delay for the Moderna booster could be “at the most a couple of weeks,” Fauci said.
Fauci was also asked about whether recipients of Moderna’s initial vaccine could get a Pfizer booster, and vice versa. He said data will hopefully be available soon.
“But right now, we are suggesting and hopefully it will work out that way, that if you got Pfizer, you will then boost with Pfizer. If you get Moderna, you’ll be boosting with Moderna,” Fauci said. “But we are doing the studies to determine if we can do just that: Switch one with the other.”