The White House announced Wednesday that most Americans willeight months after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines to combat the more transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus.
In a joint statement, the nation’sare highly effective, data shows that their protection lessens over time, meaning that fully vaccinated individuals might be more susceptible to mild and moderate disease.
“Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those at higher risk or who were. For that reason, we conclude that a and prolong its durability,” a group of eight officials, including infectious disease expert Dr. and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said in the statement.
Boosters will be available beginning Sept. 20 forshot. At a news conference Wednesday, Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, said it would be “just as easy” to get a .
A booster shot is likely for those who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Still, the company has not yet completed aevaluating the effectiveness of an additional dose. Several officials spoke at the news conference of the need to “stay ahead of this virus.”
“If you wait for something bad to happen before you respond to it, you find yourselves considerably behind your real full capability of being responsive,” Fauci said.
Nursing home residents, healthcare workers, and emergency respondents will likely be prioritized as they were latewhen the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency approval to distribute the vaccines. The agency has yet to approve the three COVID-19 vaccines currently spread nationwide fully. Still, it is expected to grant the this fall.
The booster shot announcement was expected and has already been met with strong criticism from theand those. They point out the extraordinary difficulty that poor nations have had in obtaining and distributing even one round of shots. Booster shots “will exacerbate inequities by driving up demand and consuming scarce supply,” the earlier this month.
The panel of U.S.appeared to acknowledge the criticism in their statement, emphasizing “the ongoing urgency of vaccinating the unvaccinated in the U.S. and around the world.”
“Nearly all the cases of severe disease, hospitalization, and death continue to occur among those not yet vaccinated at all,” their statement read.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said at Wednesday’s news conference that he does “not accept the idea that we have to choose between America and the world.” Zients had a similar message, telling reporters, “to end this pandemic, we have to protect the American people, and we have to continue to do more and more to vaccinate the world.”
Both officials pointed to U.S. efforts to help expand manufacturing capabilities in under-vaccinated parts of the world. However, a limited supply ofhas presented a hurdle to ramping up manufacturing further.
against COVID-19 is essential to putting the pandemic behind us. When the unchecked, it has more opportunity to mutate into new and potentially even more dangerous versions of itself.
Unvaccinated patients make up the vast majority of those who are seriously ill. One of those variants, delta, is currently driving up case counts in much of the. The picture is bleak in the South, and have reported running dangerously low on room in their intensive care units.
More than 36have had documented cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and more than 620,000 have died since the start of the .
“Ourillness,” Walensky said Wednesday. “While we are still learning how these vaccines perform over time and how long they will last against emerging variants, one thing is obvious: Getting vaccinated can keep you out of the hospital. Getting vaccinated can save your life.”
Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership toand help shape HuffPost’s next chapter.