There are now 169 million Americans vaccinated in the U.S., according to Our World Data. With the rise of the Delta variant, there has been a surge in the number of vaccinated Blacks and Hispanics. Blacks and Hispanics living in hard-hit states are now getting vaccinated more rapidly than whites. Mississippi saw the biggest increase among its Black population, with 5.8% compared to 4% of White people, Bloomberg notes.
However, fully vaccinated Americans may not be done getting shots. The Biden administration plans to recommend that most Americans get a booster shot eight months after they received their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, as the highly infectious Delta variant marches across the country.
Officials could announce the decision as early as this week, with third shots becoming available to those most vulnerable as early as mid-September, The New York Times reported.
What about Johnson & Johnson?
People who chose the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will likely also need a booster shot, but officials are waiting for the results of the company’s two-dose clinical trial that are expected later this month.
Who will be first in line for the booster shot?
The first boosters will be given to nursing home residents, health care workers and emergency workers. Next up would be older people who were near the front of the line when vaccinations began late last year, followed by the general population. The plan is to give people the same vaccine they first received, the Times reports.
Why the need for a booster shot?
What has U.S. health officials worried? Data from Israel continues to suggest that the Pfizer vaccine’s protection against severe disease has fallen significantly for elderly people who got their second shot in January or February, the Times reported.
The latest data, posted on the Israeli government’s website on Monday, shows a continued erosion in the potency of the Pfizer vaccine against mild or asymptomatic infections in general and against severe disease among seniors who were vaccinated early in the year.
One slide suggested that for those 65 years or older who got their second shots in January, the vaccine is now only about 55 percent effective against severe disease. But researchers say the data has a wide margin of error, and some say other Israeli government data suggests a decline in efficacy was less severe, the Times reports.
“It shows a pretty steep decline in effectiveness against infection, but it’s still