The Biden administration will recommend Americans of any age get a booster shot eight months after vaccination.
An official announcement is expected later this week. This recommendation would apply to those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination.
“Studies on the efficacy and safety of mixing different vaccines are still ongoing, so the initial planning is likely for Americans to receive a booster of the same vaccine they were administered for their first two doses. Officials expect that a booster will also be needed for the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” says CBS News.
Officials have been researching the necessity of booster shots for months. Last week, health officials recommended them for those with weakened immune systems.
That population has a higher risk of catching the virus according to officials and there is evidence that suggests the vaccines become less effective with time.
In a statement on Sunday, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said, “Delta is a nasty one for us to try to deal with.”
“The combination of those two means we may need boosters, maybe beginning first with health care providers, as well as people in nursing homes, and then gradually moving forward,” he said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 198 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 168 million Americans are fully vaccinated.
According to internal CDC documents reviewed by New York Magazine, “an estimated 1.1 million people have already gotten unauthorized booster shots. The number is most likely an undercount because it includes Moderna and Pfizer recipients who have re-upped but not those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and then sought out another shot.”
Booster shot seekers were predominately in Florida, Ohio, California, Illinois, and Tennessee.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization called on wealthier countries with high vaccination rates to prioritize providing vaccine doses to poorer nations ahead of providing citizens with booster shots.
“We cannot and we should not accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected,” said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on August 4th.
At the time, several European countries — including France, Germany, and Israel — had begun administering booster shots.
According to Time Magazine, “the White House has said that even though the U.S. has begun sharing more than 110 million vaccine doses with the world, the nation has enough domestic supply to deliver boosters to Americans should they be recommended by health officials.”
The COVID-19 vaccination is currently available under emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA). Booster shots will not be provided to the public at large until the FDA approves them. They are expected to do so officially this fall. The Pfizer shot has been given priority for the designation.