Nearly two million COVID-19 vaccine boosters were administered in the first week after being approved by the FDA, White House says
- Nearly two million booster shots were handed out last week, White House officials report
- More Americans got booster injections last week, two million, than the first shot of the vaccine, 1.6 million
- The shots received FDA clearance on Sept. 22 for all Americans over the age of 65 or at high risk for the virus
- The White House had planned that all Americans would be eligible for boosters by September 20, although regulators did not approve
Millions of Americans are rolling up their sleeves after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Third injections of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were approved for emergency use on Sept. 22 for individuals 65 years of age or older, or 18 years of age and older who are at high risk of serious complications from the virus due to underlying conditions or their job .
Between September 22 and 29, the White House reported that nearly two million people received boosters.
The shots were in high demand after the White House announced plans to roll out boosters by Sept. 20, although regulatory impediments prevented the shots from becoming available until a few days later.
Nearly two million Americans received Covid boosters last week, the White House said. In total, more than five million boosters have been distributed, the majority of which go to people over 65. Pictured: An elderly woman in London, England, receives an injection of the Pfizer Covid vaccine on March 10
Jeff Ziess, the White House’s Covid-19 Response Coordinator, announced the marker at a press conference on Friday.
“As we vaccinate the unvaccinated, we are also improving protection for vaccinated Americans through booster shots,” he said.
“We estimate that by the end of the day, nearly two million Americans will have rolled up their sleeves and received a booster shot. Almost two million booster shots in the first week.’
Between September 25 and October 1, about 1.6 million Americans received the first dose of a series of Covid vaccines, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This means that the number of Americans getting booster shots is greater than the number of people getting vaccinated for the first time.
The White House planned to make the booster shots available to all Americans beginning September 20, eight months after receiving their second shot.
However, many health experts and officials opposed the move but wanted the government to focus on getting unvaccinated people around the world to prevent the development of new virus variants.
As a compromise of sorts, the FDA and CDC declined to approve the injections for all Americans, and instead only those deemed most at risk from the virus.
The CDC reports that more than 5.2 million booster shots were administered in the United States Monday morning.
According to government data, more than half, 3.3 million, of those boosters were given to someone over the age of 65.
Some of these injections came before the boosters’ approval, as officials made the third injection available to some immunocompromised people in late August.
Many are also unauthorized recordings distributed by health care providers.
The Pfizer booster injection has been administered 3.9 million times, and 1.3 million booster injections of the Moderna vaccine have also been distributed.
In the US, 65 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine — which is available to anyone 12 years of age or older.
Nearly 56 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated.
The CDC has not yet changed the definition of fully vaccinated, and those who have completed a vaccine series — regardless of whether they qualify for an additional shot — are considered fully immunized.
New cases of the virus are starting to decline again, with the US now registering about 100,000 infections per day, a 50 percent drop from the 150,000 per day recorded in mid-September.