Millions of Americans currently ineligible for a
On Friday, President
Those eager to have the third vaccine can easily pretend to be a frontline worker, and will not have their credentials thoroughly checked.
It’s unclear how many residents across the country currently want the booster shot.
The CDC says the booster should be administered six months after a person received their second COVID shot.
CDC Director Rachelle Wolensky say there is no way to stop other ineligible groups from lying in order to get the jab, given that the rollout relies on an honor system
Friday’s rollout began after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky overruled her own agency’s advisory panel in a rare move late Thursday night
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters on Friday: ‘As of today, up to 20 million Americans can get their booster shots. We have been preparing and we are hitting the ground running to get booster shots in arms.’
‘There are people who will be getting booster shots as early as this afternoon.”
Friday’s rollout began after
She added a recommendation for COVID-19 vaccine boosters for frontline workers. That change added millions of additional Americans to the guidance.
President Joe Biden urged 60 million Americans who got the Pfizer vaccine, primarily those over 65, to get booster shots
The CDC committee voted against recommending use for those are at risk due to an ‘occupational or institutional settings,’ claiming there wasn’t enough data to make such a recommendation.
The decision only applies to those who have received the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA has yet to weigh Moderna Inc’s application for boosters and Johnson & Johnson Inc. has not yet filed an application.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) said third doses should only be for Americans aged 65 and older and those with underlying conditions after six months.
Walensky disagreed and put that recommendation back in, noting that such a move aligns with a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) booster authorization decision earlier this week. The panel recommended the third dose only for those 65 and over and with certain medical conditions.
The category she included covers people who live in institutional settings that increase their risk of exposure, such as prisons or homeless shelters, as well as healthcare workers, teachers and grocery store employees.
‘As CDC Director, it is my job to recognize where our actions can have the greatest impact,’ Walensky wrote in a statement.
Biden also pledged to get his own shot as soon as possible.
‘ll be getting my booster shot,’ he said, then made a joke about his own age. ‘Hard to acknowledge I’m over 65. But I’ll be getting my booster shot. It’s a bear isn’t it? I’ll tell you. But all kidding aside from getting my booster shot. I’m not sure exactly when I’m going to do it. As soon as I can get it,’ said Biden, 78.
‘Like your first and second shot. The booster shot is free and easily accessible,’ Biden said at the White House.
Biden got his second Pfizer-BioNTech dose in January before taking office.
Pfizer said data suggested efficacy of two doses declines from 96.2% to 83.7% after six months but that a third dose boosts antibody levels (above)
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOTS AND WHEN SHOULD THEY GET THEM?
By Mary Kekatos, Acting U.S. Health Editor for DailyMail.com
What are COVID-19 vaccine boosters?
A booster shot is given at least six months after people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
It is meant to prolong immunity and give a ‘boost’ to the immune system to create higher levels of antibodies against the virus.
Is vaccine protection waning?
Not necessarily, although this topic is hotly debated.
Some people have weakened immune systems, either due to medical conditions or to age, that have left them unable to mount a full immune response to the first doses.
Some studies have found that vaccine protection does decrease after more than four months, which is common with several other immunizations.
However, health officials insist that vaccines are still highly effective against the most severe outcomes from COVID-19, including hospitalization and death.
Who is currently eligible?
Last month, boosters were authorized for Americans with compromised immune systems.
This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded that authorization to specific at-risk groups.
These include people aged 65 and older, long-term care facility residents and people aged 18 to 64 at high risk of severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) advisory committee recommended that boosters not be for people at high risk due to their jobs or other factors, CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky overruled this decision and sided with the FDA.
This means people who are at high-risk of severe illness due to their occupations – such as healthcare workers, teachers and grocery store employees – and those who live in institutional settings that increase their risk of exposure, such as prisons or homeless shelters, are also eligible.
Which COVID-19 vaccine booster can I get?
Right now, only recommended groups who received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and were given their final shot at least six months ago, can get booster shots.
Pfizer’s booster shot is exactly the same – both ingredients-wise and dosage (30 micrograms) – as the first two doses.
What if I received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
Moderna has submitted an application to the FDA asking that its booster shot be authorized while Johnson & Johnson is expected to do so soon.
Because of this, recipients of either of these two vaccines are not eligible to receive boosters yet.
President Joe Biden said on Thursday that scientists are still examining data for boosters shots from the two companies.
‘Our doctors and scientists are working day and night to analyze the data from those two organizations on whether and when you need a booster shot, and we’ll provide updates for you as the process moves ahead,’ he said.
Can I mix and match?
Currently, federal health officials do not recommend getting a booster shot made by a different vaccine manufacturer than that of your initial doses.
This means that Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients are not recommended to get a booster dose from Pfizer and vice-versa.