Only 1 in 7 Seniors Have Received a Covid Booster Shot So Far

Health experts are recommending that eligible Americans receive COVID-19 booster shots as soon as possible in an effort to prevent infection surges this coming winter. Seniors, who are among the highest-risk populations, are eligible for the boosters but only 15% of people aged 65 and older have received them so far.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first to be authorized as a booster shot, for use in certain high-risk groups, including seniors, who received their second Pfizer dose at least six months ago. On Thursday, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee unanimously recommended boosters for high-risk recipients of Moderna’s and Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccines. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky embraced the panel’s recommendations Thursday night, clearing the shots for immediate distribution.

The CDC will also allow mix-and-match boosters, so that people can receive a different booster vaccine than what they were originally given. More than 39 million Moderna recipients and nearly 13 million J&J recipients may be eligible for a booster dose as early as Friday.

“Booster shots are an effective tool for keeping seniors safe from COVID-19 infection,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Getting vaccinated protects not only yourself, but also others who are vulnerable.”

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