HealthDay News — Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced Thursday they would seek approval for a booster COVID-19 shot and begin studies on a reformulated vaccine that targets the highly contagious Delta variant.
Pfizer-BioNTech said that while protection “remained high” from their vaccine, there is evidence it could wane over time. The advent of new coronavirus variants might also lead to a need for boosters, the companies said.
But just hours after the announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an unusual joint statement saying Americans do not need booster shots yet and that companies making COVID-19 vaccines will not be making the final decision on that.
“We continue to review any new data as it becomes available and will keep the public informed. We are prepared for booster doses if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed,” the agencies said in the statement. “The United States is fortunate to have highly effective vaccines that are widely available for those aged 12 and up. People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta.”