The Latest: U.S. sticks with booster shot recommendation

Coronavirus

Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to accusations by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as he testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Cases of COVID-19 have tripled over the past three weeks, and hospitalizations and deaths are rising among unvaccinated people. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

WASHINGTON — The government’s top infectious disease expert says the U.S. is sticking with its recommendation for Americans to get COVID-19 booster shots eight months after receiving the vaccine but will be open to changes based on evolving data.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says there’s “no doubt” in his mind that people will need to get an extra shot after they have received the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, given the highly contagious delta variant.

He indicated the administration remained focused on doing that in an “expeditious” and “feasible” way after the eight-month mark, with doses beginning the week of Sept. 20, pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

President Joe Biden had suggested on Friday that his administration was considering whether to give booster shots as early as five months after vaccination, citing advice he received from the Israeli prime minister.

But on Sunday, Fauci said regarding the eight-month U.S. guidance, quote “We’re not changing it, but we are very open to new data as it comes in. We’re going to be very flexible about it.”

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