The CDC and the FDA released a joint statement late Thursday saying the agencies, along with the NIH, are engaged in a “science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary.” However, the agencies say they are prepared “if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed” and that those who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease, including variants.
The statement was released hours after Pfizer announced it would seek authorization for a third dose of its vaccine, saying another shot within 12 months could boost immunity dramatically.
The following is the full joint CDC and FDA statement on vaccine boosters:
“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. People who are not vaccinated remain at risk. Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated. We encourage Americans who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their community.
Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. FDA, CDC, and NIH are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary. This process takes into account laboratory data, clinical trial data, and cohort data – which can include data from specific pharmaceutical companies, but does not rely on those data exclusively. 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.”