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Sept. 3, 2021, 12:31 p.m. EDT

Government health officials tell White House to scale back booster plan: report

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By Ciara Linnane

Government health officials have advised the White House to scale back President Joe Biden's promise to offer boosters to vaccinated Americans beginning later this month, because available data are insufficient to determine they are necessary, the New York Times reported Friday, citing unnamed people described as familiar with the discussion. Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the White House that they will only be able to determine in the coming weeks whether boosters are necessary for people who received the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE -2.33% and German partner BioNTech SE /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX -5.77% , and, even then, they may only be needed by certain individuals. Biden said the government would only act with the approval of the FDA. But health experts were concerned that the Biden government was getting ahead of itself and ahead of its own regulatory agencies. The FDA is also awaiting data from Israel, which is already administering boosters to people 12 and older amid concerns that the vaccine's potency wanes over time. The FDA wants to see the underlying data on which that decision was based.

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