The request accelerates efforts to expand who is eligible for booster shots, as officials try to head off another wave of coronavirus cases.
Pfizer on Tuesday asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its pill for high-risk, unvaccinated people.
In a turnaround, the agency is expected to grant the request before the winter holiday season, giving access to all 181 million fully vaccinated people.
An advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration voted against a similar request from Pfizer in mid-September, but the agency is considered likely to grant the request, perhaps before Thanksgiving.
“We are planning on some vaccinations towards the end of this week,” said Jeffrey D. Zients, a top White House official, adding that the government will deliver a total of 15 million doses “across the next week or so.”
An advisory panel is to vote later this week on whether to recommend emergency authorization of boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
The Food and Drug Administration and the drug maker released documents before an advisory committee to the agency meets later this week to discuss whether to recommend emergency authorization of Moderna boosters.
The request, expected this week, comes after a study found the company’s vaccine was only 71 percent effective against hospitalization from Covid-19.
The timing of the meetings later this month suggests that the agency plans to move quickly to decide both issues.
The timing of the meetings indicates that the agency plans to move quickly to decide whether to authorize both the booster and pediatric doses, but only after it hears recommendations from the advisory committee.