The Wall Street Journal reported that US health officials are considering licensing a fourth dosage of a COVID-19 vaccine in the autumn, citing sources familiar with the matter.
According to the article, the Food and Drug Administration has been analyzing evidence to license a second booster dosage of mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech, as well as vaccines from Moderna, Reuters reported.
Last month, the CDC shortened the time between receiving a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna, in order to give a higher level of protection against the Omicron strain sooner.
The concept is still in the beginning phase, and approval would be contingent as to whether the second booster must be approved for all adults or certain age groups, and if it should target the Omicron version or be manufactured differently, according to the article.
It went on to say that no choice was definitive and that if a new variety appeared, booster doses could have to be made accessible sooner.
On Friday, the United States recorded 2,323 coronavirus fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to 936,523.
If the FDA authorizes another booster dose, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must also approve it.
The “potential future requirement” for an extra booster is still being “very carefully monitored in real-time,” according to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). “Recommendations, if needed, will be updated according to the data as it evolves,” Fauci said.
Fauci also stated that the sequence of the second booster is essential and that it “doesn’t make much sense” to deliver the fourth dosage now when omicron starts to decrease.
According to CNN, Fauci proposed that a second booster, if necessary, be given in the fall or winter, when a new strain is more likely to appear.