After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief disregarded her own advisors to suggest booster doses, President Joe Biden is ordering a group of 60 million Americans who had the Pfizer vaccine and satisfy other requirements to get them.
Biden made the remark after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, in an unusual move late Thursday night, rejected her own agency's advisory panel and added a recommendation for COVID-19 vaccine boosters for those at risk due to their professions.
Millions of Americans were added to the guideline as a result of the move. The CDC committee decided against recommending usage for people who are at risk because of "occupational or institutional settings," citing a lack of data.
Biden tells 60 millions Americans to get Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot
Per Daily Mail, only individuals who have received the Pfizer vaccine are affected by the decision. Moderna Inc.'s application for boosters has yet to be considered by the FDA, while Johnson & Johnson Inc. has not yet filed one.
After six months, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that third doses be reserved for Americans 65 and older, as well as those with underlying diseases.
Walensky disagreed and reintroduced the recommendation, saying that it corresponds with a booster authorization decision made by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this week. Only individuals 65 and older, as well as those with specific medical conditions, should take the third dose, according to the panel.
People who live in institutional settings that enhance their risk of exposure, such as jails or homeless shelters, as well as healthcare professionals, teachers, and grocery store staff, are all included in this group.
Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots are now available at Walgreens and CVS Health stores nationwide, USA Today reported. Patients may book appointments for certain CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic sites online beginning Friday, said CVS Health.
Appointments at Walgreens locations nationwide may be arranged online or over the phone starting Saturday. The White House said Friday that all federal contractors and subcontractors must be properly vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8. Millions of government contractors are anticipated to be affected by the announcement.
Biden administration expects smooth COVID-19 booster shots rollout
According to the White House, there are exceptions "in rare instances when an employee is legally entitled to an accommodation" due to a disability or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.
Biden signed an executive order on September 9 requiring vaccinations for federal employees and contractors. The CDC's latest K-12 school year data backs up the agency's recommendation for masks in schools and in-person sessions.
Coronavirus outbreaks were nearly four times more prevalent in public schools without mask regulations on the first day than in those that reopened with a masking requirement, according to research conducted in two Arizona counties.
Another study revealed that case rates in children and teenagers grew higher in counties where public schools did not have mask mandates than in areas where they did. Other metrics that may have impacted the outcomes were not included in these studies.
Despite the lack of a method to identify those who mislead about their eligibility, the Biden administration is optimistic that COVID-19 booster shot administration to limited populations will proceed well.
Seniors, individuals with underlying illnesses that put them at higher risk, and front-line employees, such as teachers and healthcare professionals, would all receive booster shots, according to the Biden administration.
Even if they lie about their eligibility, those who received the first two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine but do not yet qualify for a third dose might acquire a booster at one of approximately 80,000 locations around the country, as per Washington Examiner.