Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said Moderna’s COVID-19 booster vaccine may not be available for the masses when the US plans to start offering third doses to everyone in about two weeks — potentially limiting extra shots to only Pfizer recipients.
The White House chief medical adviser said Moderna is still compiling the data necessary to prove to federal regulators that its booster shot is safe and effective for the general public.
The FDA has approved Moderna’s and Pfizer‘s booster shots for the immunocompromised because of that population’s susceptibility to the coronavirus, but only the latter vaccine appears set to be soon approved for widespread dissemination, Fauci said.
“We were hoping that we would get both the candidates … Moderna and Pfizer, rolled out by the week of [Sept. 20],” Fauci said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “It is conceivable that we will only have one of them out.
“But the other would likely follow soon thereafter,” he added, referring to Moderna.
“Looks like Pfizer has their data in [and] likely would meet the deadline. We hope that Moderna would also be able to do it, so we could do it simultaneously, but if not, we’ll do it sequentially,” Fauci said.
Pfizer’s third dose has proven to dramatically improve the body’s ability to fight the virus — and the company has requested Food and Drug Administration approval for use for everyone.
Fauci said experts are still looking into whether Americans who received two shots of the double-dose Moderna vaccine could take the Pfizer booster, but the results of those studies will take at least a little more time. Pfizer also is a two-dose regime.
“We are doing studies right now which are… mix and match studies, Namely, we’re lining up Pfizer against Pfizer, Pfizer for Moderna, and vice versa,” Fauci said.
“Hopefully, within a reasonable period of time, measured in a couple of weeks, we will have that data, but right now we are suggesting… that if you’ve got Pfizer, you will then boost with Pfizer.”
Johnson & Johnson offers a one-dose regime, and its booster has yet to be approved by the FDA, even for the immunocompromised.