Nov 25 Reuters -- Millions of Americans received COVID 19 booster shots at a near record pace after the Biden administration expanded eligibility last week, but health officials concerned about climbing infections ahead of the winter holiday season urged more to get additional protection.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, about 37.5 million people have received a booster shot in the United States as of Tuesday, and he believes boosters are more important for personal protection than for curtailing the spread of the disease.
I am hoping for much better. He said that he would like to see all of that doubled very, very quickly.
The U.S. regulators expanded eligibility for vaccine booster shots to all adults, allowing millions more Americans to get additional protection after a recent rise in infections, including among the fully vaccinated.
People age 65 and older and those at high risk of infection due to underlying health or employment conditions were eligible for extra shots.
The CDC data shows that just over six million people received an additional dose of one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines last week, the highest weekly total since boosters were first authorized, and an increase of over 15% from the previous week.
More than 130 million fully vaccinated adults in the United States are eligible for the shots, six months after receiving Johnson Johnson's one-dose vaccine, or two months after receiving the second dose of Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
More than a quarter of those who are now eligible have received boosters. Some experts felt that previous booster shot eligibility requirements were too complicated and may have discouraged people from getting them, or that previous evidence for the extra shots was lacking.
The White House promoted the idea in August, but there was a lot of mixed messages, said Dr. William Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. More Americans should consider additional protection as they prepare to travel and gather with friends and family for this week's U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, according to public officials, including Rochelle Walensky and top infection disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.
After about two months of declining infections, the United States has reported daily increases of the Delta variant of the virus and people spending more time indoors due to colder weather.
Fauci said that they'd like to get as many people who were originally vaccinated with the first regimen boosted. com business healthcare-pharmaceuticals fauci-says - vast-majority - vaccinated-americans - should-get covid 19 booster 2021 -- 11 -- 23 on Tuesday in an interview for the upcoming Reuters Next conference.
He said that the overwhelming majority of Americans who have been fully vaccinated should now receive a COVID 19 booster shot based on data showing that they provide substantial protection beyond what is seen from the original inoculation.
Regulators backed additional doses because of concerns about immunity generated by the first shots over time. Research shows that booster doses generate higher neutralizing antibodies levels on average than the initial inoculations and that they can reduce infections, according to data from Pfizer.
Some scientists believe boosters are unnecessary for many healthy adults, arguing that vaccinating the unvaccinated should be the priority.
The World Health Organization WHO has warned against countries making boosters available until more people have received their primary dose.
Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, urged Europeans to get booster doses if they are offered in the face of surging cases. If action is not taken, there could be more than 700,000 deaths by March, according to the WHO.