Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only recommends that people over 50 and those with compromised immune systems receive additional boosters. So far, less than 28 percent of Americans in that age group have gotten a second booster.
The plan being debated would open eligibility for the vaccine to adults under 50, allowing them to seek the shot now — with the hope that they can still get another booster shot when new versions of the vaccine become available later in October.
The Washington Post first reported the reinforcement plan. The White House declined to comment.
Discussions are still in the early stages and require formal sign-off from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration. The CDC and FDA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
But in recent days, senior health officials, including Covid response coordinator Ashish Jha and chief infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, have expressed support for the idea, one person with knowledge of the matter said.
“We have a vaccine for that,” said Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. “But the question is, will this decrease the increase from BA.5 in terms of mild to moderate disease?”
David Lim and Sarah Overmole contributed to this report.