U.S. to Offer COVID-19 Booster Shots in Late September

Top health officials in the United States announced on Aug. 18 that the administration plans to begin offering COVID-19 booster shots to all American adults in September.

“We are prepared to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting eight months after an individual’s second dose,” health officials said in a joint statement, citing growing evidence that a third dose of the vaccine will be necessary to maintain a protection against the virus as the highly contagious Delta variant fuels a rise in cases nationwide.

Health officials said that all adults aged 18 years and above who were fully vaccinated earliest in the rollout of the vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna will likely be eligible for the booster in September. 

Priority will likely be given to healthcare workers, nursing home residents, and people aged over 65 years, similar to the original vaccine rollout.

The plan does not yet include teenagers. They would likely get the booster shot in December at the earliest, per the eight-month guidance as their vaccinations began in April.

Health officials added that they anticipate that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine recipients will also likely need booster shots and expect more data in the coming weeks. The U.S. began administering the J&J vaccine last March.

The booster shots, however, are still subject to authorization from the Food and Drug Administration and sign off from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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