WASHINGTON—This week, health experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 booster shots for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after receiving their second dose of the original vaccine, reports APNews. The agency believes the booster will ensure continued protection against the virus as the delta variant spreads nationwide.
Officials have studied the situation in other countries, such as Israel, where early research suggests the vaccine’s protection against serious illness dropped among those vaccinated in January. Doses will be available once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration formally approves them, and that action is expected for the Pfizer shot in the next few weeks. The first people to receive the booster would be health-care workers, nursing home residents and older Americans. Last week, health officials recommended boosters for people with weakened immune systems.
More than 198 million Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and more than 168 million are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. However, the delta variant is spreading aggressively and is responsible for an increasing number of so-called breakthrough infections for fully vaccinated individuals.
The expected recommendations come after OSHA advised masks for all workers in high-risk workplaces, as reported in the NACS Daily.
The White House said that even though the U.S. is sharing more than 10 million vaccine doses with other countries, the nation has a sufficient supply to provide boosters to Americans.
Don’t forget to register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8, at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on the “new normal,” including the sessions Meeting Consumers Where They Are—Everywhere and A New Approach to Dayparts on October 5, as well as Moving Forward in the Post-Pandemic Economy and Drive-Thru and Curbside: Is This the Future for C-Stores? on October 6.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.