CDC Data Show An Additional 3.2M Americans Have Received Updated COVID-19 Boosters Over Last Week.
Reuters (9/29) reports, “Around 3.2 million people in the United States received updated COVID-19 booster shots over the past week,” the CDC said Thursday. The CDC also “said a total of 7.6 million Americans had received the shot as of Sept. 28, the first four weeks the booster has been available,” which is up by 3.2 million from “4.4 million people who received the shot as of Sept. 21.” The total of 7.6 million “represents only 3.5% of the 215.5 million people in the United States aged 12 or older who are eligible to receive the shots because they have completed their primary vaccination series.”
Opinion: Public Health Officials Should Target Updated COVID-19 Booster Shot Campaign At People Over 65.
Faye Flam writes for Bloomberg Opinion (9/28) reports, “The new US Covid booster campaign needs a dose of clarity about its goals and limitations.” The updated bivalent COVID-19 “vaccine – retooled to protect against the currently circulating BA.5 variant – will benefit” older citizens the most. Flam argues, “Public health officials should aim to protect them through a targeted messaging campaign convincing them to get the shot” instead of the broad CDC recommendation for everyone over 12, as “younger people should only be encouraged to get it if they’re more than six months out from their last shot.” Even FDA advisory committee member Paul Offit “is not planning to get the new booster just yet.” Public health officials should “rank people by urgency, starting with unboosted people over 65. Even if the overall uptake numbers stay low, the booster campaign can still save lives if it reaches the right people.”
Rollout Of Updated Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Shots Seeing Slower Uptake Than First 2021 Boosters.
Reuters (9/23, Mishra, Erman) reported, “Updated COVID-19 boosters have gone into 4.4 million arms in the United States since a new revaccination campaign began three weeks ago, government data shows, a slower pace for the shots targeting the Omicron variant of the coronavirus than the rollout of the first boosters last year.” The US “government said earlier this week it has shipped 25 million of the Omicron-tailored shots, mostly from Pfizer/BioNTech.” The “production of the similarly retooled Moderna shots has been slower due to what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration flagged as quality control issues at a contract manufacturing site run by Catalent Inc,” but on Tuesday the FDA “said it had cleared some vaccine from that plant.”
ABC News (9/23, Mitropoulos) reported, “Nationally, a total of 109 million Americans have received their first booster dose – representing less than 50% of those who have been fully vaccinated,” and “just over a third – 35% – of the total U.S. population over the age of 5 has received their first booster.” But “following the federal green light of the new COVID-19 booster shots, data shows there was a significant uptick in the number of Americans getting vaccinated.” On Thursday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky “became the latest American to get the new bivalent COVID-19 booster shot.” Walensky told ABC News, “I’m here getting my updated fall vaccine because I think it’s critically important to do. We are really encouraging everybody to roll up their sleeves and get this updated bivalent vaccine.”
Federal Data Show Thousands Of US Adults Still Getting Primary COVID-19 Vaccine Doses.
The Wall Street Journal (9/19, Hopkins, Subscription Publication) reports that Americans are still slowly getting their first COVID-19 vaccination doses, even more than a year-and-a-half after vaccinations were available. CDC data, despite possibilities for over- or under-counting, set the average of new shots between 15 to 18 thousand. Reasons for waiting to get a primary shot ranged from new jobs, protein-based vaccine availability, and misinformation.
Health Officials Say Updated COVID-19 Boosters Are Still Reaching Americans Despite Sporadic Response.
The New York Times (9/18, Healy, Otterman, Qin) reports, “America embarked in earnest last week on a sprawling new campaign to get Omicron-specific boosters into the arms of a pandemic-weary country.” These “new boosters are one of the last remaining weapons in America’s arsenal against the coronavirus,” and while reaction to the new FDA-authorized boosters seems sporadic nationwide, health officials “said the boosters were reaching smaller rural clinics and Native American reservations.” The Indian Health Service “reported that 94,000 doses of the new booster had been sent out so far.” However, “some nursing homes said they did not get the new boosters until midway through this past week, several days behind other clinics and pharmacies.”
COVID-19 Boosters Effective At Preventing Hospitalization, Analysis Finds.
TIME (9/9, Mandel) reported new research “emphasizes the importance and success of boosters in keeping people infected with COVID-19 out of the hospital.” Researchers “analyzed data from more than 192,000 adults in 13 U.S. states who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 between January and April 2022 – when the original Omicron variant was at its peak” and found that “unvaccinated people were 10.5 times more likely to be hospitalized than people who had been fully vaccinated and boosted (with the original version of the booster).” The findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is mentioned.
Study Shows Hospitalization Rates Increased For Unvaccinated COVID-19 Patients.
The Washington Times (9/8, Salai) reports a study published Thursday in JAMA Internal Medicine found “COVID-19 hospitalization rates were significantly higher in unvaccinated adults than in vaccinated and boosted adults” over the past year. The data come from “41 public health researchers” who “examined 192,509 COVID-positive patients who stayed in 250 hospitals from Jan. 1, 2021, to April 30, 2022.” The analysis determined “hospitalizations were 10.5 times higher in unvaccinated adults and 2.5 times higher in vaccinated adults with no booster dose – respectively – than in those who received a booster.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Medical Officer Fiona Havers “said in an email that the study should remind older Americans to protect themselves.”
CDC Recommends Updated COVID-19 Boosters To Improve Immunity Ahead Of Autumn Rise In Infections.
The Washington Post (9/1, A1, Sun) reports CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Thursday endorsed an advisory panel recommendation “that millions of eligible Americans, including those as young as 12, get an updated Omicron-targeting booster shot to bolster defenses against serious illness and death during a potential fall or winter rise in COVID-19 cases.” The recommendation clears “the way for some clinicians, pharmacies and other providers to begin administering the shots as early as this weekend.” The Wall Street Journal (9/1, Whyte, Subscription Publication, 8.41M) reports Walensky said, “The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant. This recommendation followed a comprehensive scientific evaluation and robust scientific discussion.”
USA Today (9/1, Weintraub) reports Walensky said: “If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster and I strongly encourage you to receive it.” The CDC head approved the recommendation hours after the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices made its endorsement and one day after the FDA authorized the updated boosters.