- The US is reporting an average of about 362,000 boosters administered per day during the past week, a 57% increase from the 231,000 average daily first dose.
- In total, about 8.9 million boosters have been administered as of Wednesday, including 4.7% of all fully vaccinated Americans and more than 12% of the immunized population 65 and older.
- A major FDA advisory panel meets Thursday and Friday to discuss the efficacy and safety of additional doses of Moderna and J&J vaccines.
More Americans are getting the third COVID shot than the first vaccine because people who completed their two-dose doses of shots from Pfizer or Moderna six or more months ago are now eligible and ready for an extra jab.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 362,000 people received a booster a day, which was about 57% more than the 231,000 people per day who started their first dose.
"It's reminiscent of the early days when over 65s qualified in a priority group and we saw people flooding websites and pharmacies and clinics," said Dr. Kavita Patel, a primary care physician in Washington who specializes in health care. Worked on initiative. Obama administration, said on CNBC about the high demand for boosters "Squawk Box" on Tuesday.
US regulators authorized Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine booster shots in late September for a wide range of Americans, including the elderly, adults with underlying medical conditions, and those working or living in high-risk settings such as health and grocery workers. people included. The move made nearly 60 million Americans eligible for a third shot, President Joe Biden said in an address following the CDC's endorsement.
In total, about 8.9 million boosters have been administered as of Wednesday, CDC data shows, including 4.7% of all fully vaccinated Americans and more than 12% of the immunized population 65 and older.
Dr. Annamaria Macaluso Davidson, who practices at Memorial Hermann Medical System, a group of 17 hospitals in Houston, said, “People who are coming in and getting the booster vaccine are very comfortable with the vaccine, understand the benefits and the benefits. have seen." .
The surge in cases this summer driven by the highly infectious Delta variant is convincing some people to get the vaccine for the first time, she said. “Those who are just coming in and starting out will hesitate for a variety of reasons, and will probably end up consulting a physician to understand that getting the vaccine outweighs any risks, and the risks of getting a covid. The risk far outweighs that," she said.
According to Rupali Limaye, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Businesshala School of Public Health, the rush for additional doses among those who are fully vaccinated highlights the divide between vaccinated and unvaccinated. Limaye studies vaccine decision-making and is working with state health departments during the vaccine rollout.
Because many of the third dose recipients are the same people who were most eager to get the shot earlier this year, the boosters will provide even stronger protection to those uninsured, while the uninsured remain largely unprotected and if they do get COVID. There is a significantly higher risk of hospitalization or death. .
"We want to spread security to the entire community," Limaye said. "We will have a portion of the population that is well protected, and a proportion of the population will be a zero shot."
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey released last month showed that Pfizer's emergency approval of booster shots for some people has done little to improve the divide in outlook on COVID-19 vaccines.
Of those surveyed, about 80% of those who were vaccinated said that news of a third dose suggests scientists are trying to make the shots more effective, but 71% of unvaccinated boosters said that There is evidence that vaccines do not work.
Limaye said this misconception about the third dose echoes conversations taking place in town halls and community groups across the country. Since US health officials were not clearly clear that boosters are an expected part of a vaccination process, it has raised questions about why another shot is needed.
"We need to do a better job, in my opinion, saying it's like any other virus," Limaye said, "and we have to get boosters because immunity wanes over time."
D., a family medicine physician at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Aaron Clarke said his interest in the booster "exceeded the demand for the first shots."
Average daily COVID cases in the US fell below 100,000 last week, as the pandemic shows signs of easing, with more than 56% of the US population fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Yet, down from recent peaks, the country is reporting an average of over 1,600 daily Covid deaths.
US officials have repeatedly stated that the vast majority of those currently hospitalized and dying from COVID have not been vaccinated.
A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel will meet Thursday and Friday to discuss the efficacy and safety of additional doses of Moderna's Johnson & Johnson vaccines. According to the CDC, of the 188 million fully vaccinated Americans, 55% have received Pfizer shots, 37% have received Moderna, and 8% have received the Johnson & Johnson shot.
CNBC Berkeley Lovelace Jr. Contributed to reporting.