Updated COVID boosters could be available in 3 weeks, White House predicts

159

Newly updated COVID-19 boosters, tailored to target a dominant strain of the virus, will be available in the United States in the next three weeks.

White House COVID coordinator Ash-ish Jha made the disclosure at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Jha also said authorization by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will provide enough vaccine supply for any adult who wants a new booster shot, adding that the White House had pulled $5 billion dollars to cover the cost of vaccines for this fall and winter.

The rollout was expected sometime in September, but Jha’s estimate on Tuesday was the most specific to date.

“We’re going to know more about this in the upcoming weeks and these vaccines will become available by early to mid-September,” Jha said at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, again including the caveat that FDA and CDC need to act before anything can be official.

“But the big picture, bottom line, is these are substantial upgrades in our vaccines,” Jha said. “And those vaccines are coming very, very soon.”

Jha also said that he was hopeful there will eventually be enough vaccine supply for any adult who wants a new booster to be able to get one, despite funding squabbles that forced the federal government to order only enough for the most vulnerable Americans.

“We’re still working on trying to pull more resources from other places. I would like to get to a point where every adult in America who wants a vaccine can get one. I’m hopeful we will be there. We’re not quite there yet in terms of how many vaccine doses we’ve been able to buy,” Jha said.

“What’s really limited us is a lack of resources, but we are pulling from other high-priority items. So my hope is that we’re gonna be able to have this for every single adult in America. We will know more about that in the upcoming weeks I think,” he added.

So far the U.S. has contracted for 105 million doses of the newly-updated boosters from Pfizer and 66 million doses from Moderna, the two leading COVID vaccine manufacturers for the country. Both contracts with Pfizer and Moderna include an option for hundreds of millions of more doses down the line, should the U.S. secure the money.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *