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Fauci To Hear From Pfizer About Booster Shots Tuesday

Anthony Fauci
Alex Brandon/AP
/
AP
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in January.

In an interview recorded Monday with Midday’s Tom Hall, Dr. Anthony Fauci said COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are not necessary — at least, not yet. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said he hopes to have more information on booster shots after a briefing Tuesday with Pfizer.

Pfizer’s announcement last week that the company and its partner on the vaccine, BioNTech, are seeking the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a booster shot “took everybody by surprise,” Fauci said.

“We want to get this sorted out,” he said, explaining that the support for the application with the FDA seems to come from “a combination of data from Israel, as well as follow-up studies from their original phase three trial.”

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot for now.

However, Fauci said that advice could change in the near future.

“When the CDC and the FDA said, ‘We don't feel that we need a booster right now,’ I think we need to underline the ‘right now’ aspect of it, because you want to leave open the possibility that when we see [Pfizer’s] data, as well as examine the data that the CDC has been collecting, there very well may be a decision that we'll need a booster,” Fauci said. “But the CDC says it again and again: Right now, we don't think that's the case, but we're out very, very actively evaluating all the scientific data as it comes in.”

Tom Hall’s full interview with Fauci is scheduled to air Wednesday, July 21, and is available now online at WYPR.org.

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