US to Start Launching Booster Vaccine Injections

Booster COVID-19 Vaccine or booster now directly available to those who qualify for the vaccine, the White House COVID-19 response team said Friday, following a statement from US President Joe Biden earlier in the day. Biden encourages those who qualify for additional vaccinations.

The president’s comments came after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced its approval of the booster vaccine for some individuals who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago.

The CDC approved boosters for those aged 65 years or older and frontline workers such as teachers, health care workers, and others whose jobs are at risk of contracting COVID-19, as well as those aged 50 to 64 with certain health conditions.

In a virtual briefing for the response team, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said the CDC’s recommendations made Pfizer’s 60 million injection recipients eligible for the booster vaccine once they reached a six-month gap.

He said 20 million people were eligible immediately and they could go to one of the 40,000 pharmacies or other designated locations and get vaccinated as soon as Friday afternoon.

At the briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the recommendation followed hours of “strong discussion” by members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on vaccination rules. [ps/pp]

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