WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says it is “likely” Americans will need to get a third dose of vaccine to be considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
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Fauci spoke at a White House briefing, saying a final determination would be made by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the nation’s top infections disease expert says his professional experience leads him to believe a third dose of mRNA vaccines will be required to provide long-term protection against the coronavirus.
The U.S. is preparing for boosters for all Americans who received the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna between five and eight months after their second dose, pending approval by the FDA. The U.S. is still studying the need for a booster dose of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
A formal determination of the third dose for “full vaccination’” would have broad implications for schools, businesses and other entities with vaccine mandates.
White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients says the federal government will bring the “same intensity” to encouraging Americans to get booster shots as it did for the initial vaccination campaign.
Editor’s note: Johnson & Johnson is a funder for the PBS NewsHour.