Fauci hopes US regulators fully approve Covid-19 shots by mid-August
Top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Friday he hopes US regulators could as soon as the middle of next month start granting full approval for the use of Covid-19 vaccines, which already are authorized on an emergency basis.
Formal approval by the US Food and Drug Administration would give physicians the ability to prescribe a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to people with weakened immune systems on an off-label basis, Fauci said during an interview with Reuters.
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE as well as Moderna Inc have filed with the FDA to ask for full approval for their two-dose vaccines. Johnson & Johnson Inc has not yet requested full approval for its one-dose Covid-19 shot.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the White House, said full approval by the FDA could also help spur more Americans to get the Covid-19 vaccine as it might reduce their fears about the safety of the shot and make local officials more comfortable about implementing vaccine mandates.
"Given what we've been through now and the number of months that have gone by since the (emergency use authorization), I would hope that within the very reasonable period of time in the future we'll see that. I hope as we get into the middle of August that we're almost there," he said.