Now every American adult can get a booster.
Millions of Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19 at an almost record pace after the Biden administration expanded eligibility for the booster vaccination program last week. Nevertheless, the leaders of the healthcare system, concerned about the increase in morbidity on the eve of the winter holidays, again call for additional protective measures to be taken by as many people as possible.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Tuesday, approximately 37.5 million people had been re-vaccinated in the U.S.
“I think this is a good start,” said William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.
“I hope for the best. I would like all of this to double very, very quickly,” Schaffner said about the use of boosters.
U.S. regulators have expanded the right to booster vaccination, and now every American adult has the right to receive it. This decision was made against the background of a recent increase in the number of infected people, including among fully vaccinated individuals.
Previously, people aged 65 and older, as well as people who are at risk of infection due to health conditions or working conditions, had the right to additional vaccinations. According to the CDC, just over six million people received an additional dose of one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines last week, which is the highest weekly figure since the boosters were first authorized.
In addition, this is more than 15% higher than the previous week.
More than 130 million fully vaccinated adults in the U.S. are now eligible for vaccinations at least six months after receiving the second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna, or two months after receiving a single Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
According to a number of experts, the previous requirements for those who wanted to get a booster vaccination were too complicated and this may have discouraged those who wanted to.
“Now there are a much better justification (for the use of) boosters than (at the moment) when the White House first put forward this idea,” infectious disease specialist William Moss is convinced.
Officials, in particular, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, have been calling for booster vaccination for Americans intending to travel to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends for several weeks.
After about two months of a decline in the number of infected, the United States has reported a daily increase in their number over the past two weeks, due to the spread of the Delta strain and the fact that people spend more time indoors due to cold weather.
According to Fauci, the vast majority of Americans who have been fully vaccinated should now receive a booster shot.
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend countries to provide boosters until the primary vaccination has reached more people. However, on Tuesday, Hans Kluge, Director of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, called on Europeans for booster vaccination, if possible. According to WHO estimates, if measures are not taken, the number of deaths from coronavirus may increase by 700,000 people by March.