The booster shots will be available to the public near the end of September.
If you were one of the first people to get the coronavirus vaccine, you might be eligible for a booster as soon as next month. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with leading health experts are recommending that everyone who is fully vaccinated get a booster shot eight months after their second shot.
The announcement comes days after booster shots were authorized for people with compromised immune systems. Experts say data out of Israel, where most of the population got the Pfizer vaccine, shows a decline in immunity over time. With cases of coronavirus rising all over the country due to the delta variant, getting booster shots in the arms of vaccinated individuals will help provide more protection against hospitalizations as fall closes in.
Boosters for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available on September 20, pending approval by the FDA and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
In order to get the booster, you must be at least eight months out from your second shot. Most of the patients eligible for the booster in September will be people who got the vaccine in the early days including healthcare workers, nursing home residents, and people over 65.
Officials said people who received the single dose Johnson and Johnson adenovirus vaccine will also need a booster.
A statement from the FDA says information about a booster for J&J should be available in the near future. “We also anticipate booster shots will likely be needed for people who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. Administration of the J&J vaccine did not begin in the U.S. until March 2021, and we expect more data on J&J in the next few weeks. With those data in hand, we will keep the public informed with a timely plan for J&J booster shots as well," reads the statement.
According to the CDC, only 51% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against coronavirus. As children return to schools, pediatric case counts are rising to levels higher than any other point in the pandemic. Currently, there is no vaccine available for children under 12 years old, but officials are hopeful they will get approval for one for children 5 and up by the end of this year.