Biden administration is likely to recommend booster shots for everyone (update)

DC: President Biden and VP Harris deliver remarks on passing of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Last week, in response to breakthrough covid cases, the FDA and the CDC approved COVID-19 booster shots for people who are immunocompromised. I was just on the Kroger (grocery store and pharmacy) website and there’s a notice that you can schedule a booster shot if you have a weakened immune system. With a surplus of vaccines in the US and no centralized tracking system, more than a million Americans have already gotten booster shots that were unauthorized, even before this announcement. We’re now hearing that the Biden administration is likely to recommend booster shots, given eight months after we’re fully vaccinated. That is said to be happening as soon as today, following FDA approval. Pfizer recommended boosters last month following studies showing that effectiveness wanes about six months after the second shot and that boosters are safe and highly protective. Boosters will likely be available in phases to healthcare workers, the most vulnerable and older people, similar to the original vaccine rollout, starting in about a month. Here’s that story from The Washington Post:

The Biden administration is planning to announce that most Americans who have received the coronavirus vaccine will need booster shots to combat waning immunity and the highly transmissible delta variant that is sparking a surge in covid-19 cases, according to four people familiar with the decision.

The administration’s health and science experts are coalescing around the view that people will need the boosters eight months after being fully vaccinated, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a decision not yet public. The move is likely to be announced as soon as this week.

Administration of boosters would not occur until mid- or late September, after an application from Pfizer-BioNTech for the additional shots is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, the individuals said.

The conclusion that boosters will be broadly needed was reached after intense discussions last weekend involving high-ranking officials who scrutinized the latest data from the United States and other countries on the effectiveness of the shots.

[From The Washington Post]

The Post goes on to say that this announcement is tentatively scheduled for today, Wednesday, but that the details are still being worked out. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the antivaxxers, but this is a decent solution. I’m looking forward to getting another shot and being able to plan to have some mild symptoms vs. getting the delta variant and being knocked on my ass for a few days. As we go back to work and school too many vaccinated people are getting sick from covid. At least they’re recovering. This is frustrating, but I’m so grateful to the scientists who came through with this vaccine so quickly for us, and that the US government is doing the right thing after so much death and destruction under the previous administration.

Politico has an insider story about how this happened. Health officials in the Biden administration were concerned about the CDC’s data on vaccine effectiveness waning more than usual with the Delta variant. Officials at the CDC were pushing back because of course they were. They’ve been wrong so often and they don’t want to admit it. I hope we get this news soon.

Update: The White House has announced this on their social media, stating that the CDC is planning for a booster for adults, given eight months after their second shot.

USA - 2021 - First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Brad Paisely tour a pop-up vaccination site in Nashville

VP Harris HHS Sec. Becerra Swearing-in in Washington

President Biden Delivers Remarks on the Build Back Better Agenda

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15 Responses to “Biden administration is likely to recommend booster shots for everyone (update)”

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  1. shaughnanana says:

    The WHO has advised against booster shots for us privileged folks until more of the world gets their first shot. I can’t help but feel like we’re gobbling up all the supply while much of the world languishes without access. (And with a young kid at home who can’t get vaccinated yet, I will swallow my objections and get a booster shot if it better protects him)

    • Darla says:

      And it’s a loop right? We can all get booster shots, but in poorer parts of the world they don’t have access, so then new and more dangerous variants develop there, and come here, where it can kill even highly vaccinated folks. Not to mention the walking human petri dishes that are MAGA, right here in the good ole US of A. I think we all need to be very careful about what we are doing, but as I’ve said before, I’m Post-Hope so I don’t expect anything.

      • SusieQ says:

        This. I spent some time yesterday reading the Twitter feeds of some well-respected virologists and epidemiologists who said exactly this, that the US administering booster shots while so much of the world still has no access undermines the global response to Covid.

        One of them also pointed out the fact that 3rd doses will likely look more effective than they actually are, because all the people getting them will be those of us who are already vaccinated and following precautions.

        Andy Slavitt also pointed out that while so many unvaccinated exist, the variants will continue to mutate. He said if the same people continue to get vaccinated, that does nothing to combat this.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      We’re all getting our boosters since we have underlying conditions. Especially my son who will be away at school in a red state that’s like the wild west. I already checked and the Kroger the bus system goes to does both pfizer and moderna. We are supposed to go to Europe next year and I’m sure they will require that we have up to date boosters.

      • ML says:

        Up to date vaccines: yes, depending on where in Europe you need to be. Up to date boosters: not yet. Some countries are also considering them here, though mostly for the medically vulnerable at this point in time.

    • ML says:

      Thank you for writing this! As an expat, it was excruciating watching the US steal medical supplies and hog vaccines in 2020-21. I understand potentially using booster shots for the most vulnerable, however, I find it morally unjustifiable to uniformly give them when most of the world is still trying to get vaxxed in the first place. And yes, most variants get their chance amongst the unvaxxed, so the booster shots delay getting vaccines to where they’re needed most.

    • Case says:

      It’s difficult because us not getting boosters will not mean those shots will therefore go to a country in need. They’ll probably just expire. So while I understand that it’s wrong for the US to hoard vaccines and boosters are not the answer in the global fight against COVID…I’ll take whatever is made available to me, because too many people around me are not vaccinated at all.

    • SKF says:

      Yeah I’m sorry; but this really p*sses me off. If the US has a surplus then you should be sharing. The reason Delta happened in the first place is because countries like India aren’t vaccinated. Beyond the obvious humanitarian side of things, we need to get highly and densely populated countries vaccinated NOW as that is where the big risk of more mutations is highest. The US and EU gobbled up most of the vaccine supply. If you have surplus, it should go to the developing world. Hell, here in Australia, we are desperate for more vaccines faster and would happily pay for them. But there are poor countries which need them way more. It is gross that the wealthiest countries are just sitting on surplus when so much of the world is desperate for supply and when the health of all of us is interlinked. There will continue to be variants until we get the world as a whole vaccinated.

  2. Merricat says:

    When they offer it, I will take it. I have mixed feelings about providing thousands of boosters to states that won’t use them, however. What happened in Arkansas was a waste and an insult to humanity.

  3. Penguin says:

    Maybe the US should set aside some of the vaccines for the influx of refugees affected by its massive mishandling of the situation in Afganistan, so those people don’t have to worry about COVID in addition to being displaced from their homes.

  4. Midge says:

    They have known this all along. It’s a done deal. I’ve known since May. I started getting contacted last week by vaccine temp agencies to help out again in the effort. I had my second dose in Feb and will mostly likely get the booster in Oct since I am a healthcare worker. There will be a big push before the holidays.

  5. Kdiggity says:

    I just read that aside from some cities like San Fran where mixing and matching vaccines has been approved, it is still not officially said that J&J vaxers should get the Mrna boosters. J&J are still looking at studies and may get a booster soon enough as well. My partner has kidney failure and got a J&J shot through his dialysis center, but so far there has been no talk of boosters for any patients or staff there because they all have the J&J jab. I hope this changes and they will be offered one of these in house as my partner is skittish with mixing vaccines when we don’t have excellent data on that yet, especially because he reacts poorly to everything and reacted well to his jab while hearing everyone’s horror stories of moderna/pfeizer side effects, and seeing my own.

  6. A.Key says:

    Meanwhile Moderna cancelled half of their (scheduled and paid!) supplies to Korea this month because of “production issues”. While most people younger than 50 have only been able to get their FIRST SHOT this week, Americans are already getting their third…. Great. And I’m in South Korea, a pretty developed country. I can’t imagine the chaos other less developed countries are going through.
    You do realize that until most people on the planet get a vaccine, no amount of infinite booster shots for the rich West will protect from new variants appearing in other places on the planet where vaccines are unavailable.