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US officials say more data is needed to see if Pfizer booster shots are necessary

Even top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says there isn't enough evidence proving booster shots are needed.

Updated: July 12, 2021 - 9:43pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

In a meeting Monday between senior United States scientists, regulators, and representatives of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company, U.S. officials say more data and testing are needed before concluding that a COVID-19 booster shot is necessary.

Officials said it could take several months of research to determine if booster shots are necessary for fighting COVID-19.

"It was an interesting meeting. They shared their data. There wasn’t anything resembling a decision," Dr. Fauci said Monday evening to The New York Times. "This is just one piece of a much bigger puzzle, and it’s one part of the data, so there isn’t a question of a convincing case one way or the other."

Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser for the pandemic, had agreed that there is insufficient evidence that a booster shot would be necessary.

Companies BioNTech and Pfizer have said that a booster shot would help increase the vaccine's efficacy, worrying that COVID-19 immunity could wane six to eight months after receiving the second vaccine shot. However, the Biden administration has pushed back, arguing that telling people they need a third shot could delay people from getting the first tow shots at all.