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Pfizer says it is developing a Covid booster shot as CDC, FDA say it's not necessary

Clinical trials of the booster shot could begin as early as August.

Updated: July 8, 2021 - 11:36pm

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Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday they are developing a booster shot to combat the highly transmissible delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.

As the pharmaceutical companies announced their shot, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people do not need those types of booster shots.

"People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta," the FDA and CDC said Thursday, according to Axios. "Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time."

The companies cited a study by the Israel Ministry of Health released on Monday that showed the "vaccine efficacy has declined six months post-vaccination, at the same time that the Delta variant is becoming the dominate variant in the country."

"These findings are consistent with an ongoing analysis from the companies' Phase 3 study," the companies said in a written statement, according to CNBC News. "That is why we have said, and we continue to believe that it is likely, based on the totality of the data we have to date, that a third dose may be needed within 6 to 12 months after full vaccination."

Pfizer and BioNTech said they are currently working on the vaccine, with clinical trials beginning as early as August. The two companies are expected to seek U.S. authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine.