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October 8, 2021

CDC: More people are getting Covid-19 booster shots than their first shots

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    More fully vaccinated people are getting their booster shots of Covid-19 vaccines than unvaccinated people getting their first shots, according to recent CDC data.

    Your top resources on the Covid-19 vaccines

      More people getting boosters than first shots

      As of Oct. 6, CDC data shows that an average of 384,963 people are receiving Covid-19 booster shots each day in the United States, compared to 281,303 people receiving their first shots.

      Roughly 292,927 people are receiving their second shots each day, according to CDC.

      As of Oct. 7, 78% of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 67.6% are fully vaccinated. Of those ages 65 and older, 94.7% have received at least one shot of a vaccine, while 83.8% have been fully vaccinated.

      CDC recommends that those who have been fully vaccinated with the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and are over the age of 65, have health conditions putting them at risk of severe Covid-19, or are at risk of contracting the disease because of their job should receive a booster shot.

      According to CDC data, more than 64% of booster shots administered so far have been to people ages 65 and older. About 9.5% of all fully vaccinated people ages 65 and older have received a booster shot.

      Immunocompromised people are also eligible for a third shot. However, their additional shot is not considered a booster dose, since their first two doses likely didn't induce a full response from their immune system, CNN reports.

      Health officials say booster program is 'paying off'

      White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said the Biden administration's work on booster shots is "paying off."

      "We estimate that four million Americans have now rolled up their sleeves and gotten a booster shot, including two million in the first week and another two million in just the last five days," Zients said. "Our booster program is not only up and running, but it's also accelerating and we're building on our strong start to get millions of eligible Americans their booster shot," Zients added.

      Lori Tremmel Freeman, CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said that as demand for booster shots increase, some vaccine clinics could face logistical obstacles.

      "On the ground, it's been manageable, and we haven't been hearing much in terms of trouble with the Pfizer boosters. But I think the main concern about adding more boosters is capacity," she said. "Mass vaccination clinics will likely be considered when and where there's a need."

      According to Zients, the Biden administration's focus is still getting people their first shots. "Vaccinating the unvaccinated remains the top priority, including through vaccination requirements," Zients said.

      Tom Frieden, a former CDC director, said that while the most recent wave of Covid-19 cases is slowing down, "unless we get the 70 million unvaccinated Americans vaccinated, we are at risk for future waves." (Anderson, Becker's Hospital Review, 10/7; Langmaid/Thomas, CNN, 10/7)

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