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Fauci: US sticking for now with recommending COVID booster after 8 months

US top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on July 20, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite, Pool/AP)
US top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on July 20, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite, Pool/AP)

WASHINGTON — The government’s top infectious disease expert says the US 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 that there is “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 indicates that the administration remains focused on doing that in an “expeditious” and “feasible” way after the eight-month mark, with doses beginning the week of September 20, pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

US 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 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during their meeting at the White House.

But today, Fauci says, regarding the eight-month US 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.”

Fauci spoke on ABC’s “This Week,” CNN’s “State of the Union” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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