Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said that there's a chance that Moderna's COVID-19 booster shot may not have FDA and CDC approval by the White House's Sept. 20 target date, though he expects that approval to come a few weeks later.
During an appearance on CNN Tuesday morning, Fauci said that it's becoming "possible, even likely" that Pfizer's booster shot would be approved ahead of Moderna's booster shot.
"Moderna may be a bit behind, but not much, so I think you're going to get both of them out," Fauci said. "They may not be absolutely simultaneously, but it's going to be close."
Fauci noted that Pfizer was ahead in the approval process because it has already submitted the required data to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which needs to recommend the shots to the CDC. The FDA also needs to grant its own approval before the boosters are authorized.
Fauci said Tuesday that Moderna was still in the midst of submitting data, and while it may not meet the White House target date of Sept. 20, the company is "no more than a couple of weeks behind, if that much."
On Aug. 18, the CDC announced that it was recommending that adults seek out a booster shot eight months after their second COVID-19 vaccine shot and that they were readying additional doses for distribution for Sept. 20, pending FDA and CDC approval.
During his appearance on CNN Tuesday, Fauci noted that the addition of a booster shot did not mean the mRNA vaccines were failing. He said that it's more likely that a third dose actually constitutes a full vaccine regimen.
"The proper regimen very likely, as we look back on it months from now, will be that three doses is really what you should be getting of an mRNA (vaccine)," Fauci said. "When you give the person that third boost, you dramatically increase the level of protection. Even more so than before the boost. It goes up to and beyond the level of protection. I mean, I believe strongly that ultimately we're going to see that as proper regimen, three doses of an mRNA."