UPDATED 3:30 PM PT – Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Health officials said they expect vaccine booster shots to be available to the public on Sept. 20. That’s according to a statement released on Wednesday that said the availability of the shots is dependent on authorization by the Food and Drug Administration and approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Officials said they expect on that date those who were fully vaccinated during the earliest roll out, including health care workers and the elderly, will be eligible for the shot. According to the surgeon general, protection against mild and moderate disease has decreased over time, attributing it to waning immunity and the Delta variant.
“We are concerned that this pattern of decline we are seeing will continue in the months ahead, which could lead to reduced protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death,” said Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, free, and highly effective – but even highly effective vaccines experience a reduction in protection over time. Today the CDC is announcing new planning for booster shots to protect people and families and stay ahead of the curve on COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/8y7SU5MpHz
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 18, 2021
All other individuals will be able to receive the booster eight months after their second dose. The initial boosters are said to be for those inoculated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, adding those who received the Johnson & Johnson shot will likely need boosters as well.