Pfizer representatives will meet with top U.S. health officials Monday to outline their plans to request federal authorization of a third dose of its coronavirus vaccine. The head-to-head comes as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser conceded “it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely” booster shots will be needed.
AP reports the company said it was scheduled to meet the Food and Drug Administration and other officials, three days after Pfizer asserted booster shots would be needed within 12 months, as Breitbart News reported.
In April, Pfizer flagged plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency authorization of a third dose, as Breitbart News reported.
“We believe that the third dose will raise the antibody response 10- to 20- fold,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said at the time, likening it to the annual flu shot.
Now that prospect of a third jab is one step closer but not set in stone.
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci didn’t rule out the possibility but said it was too soon for the government to recommend another shot, although he has acknowledged the possibility in the past.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans may very well require booster shots to maintain protection against the coronavirus. https://t.co/wrDhcZ0DXC
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 13, 2021
He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA did the right thing last week by rejecting Pfizer’s initial assertion with their statement that they did not view booster shots as necessary “at this time.”
Fauci said clinical studies and laboratory data have yet to fully bear out the need for a booster to the current two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson regimen.
“Right now, given the data and the information we have, we do not need to give people a third shot,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we stop there. … There are studies being done now ongoing as we speak about looking at the feasibility about if and when we should be boosting people.”
He said it was quite possible in the coming months “as data evolves” that the government may urge a booster based on such factors as age and underlying medical conditions. “Certainly it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely at some time, we will need a boost,″ Fauci said.
Monday’s planned meeting between Pfizer and U.S. health officials was first reported by the Washington Post.
The Associated Press contributed to this report