Roll out of booster shots to reduce risks from COVID could start Sept. 20

Health and Human Services (HHS) public health and medical experts released a joint statement Wednesday (Aug. 18) on the plan for COVID-19 booster doses for all Americans beginning the week of September 20, 2021.

At that time, the individuals who were fully vaccinated earliest in the vaccination rollout, including many health care providers, nursing home residents, and other seniors, will likely be eligible for a booster. The roll out of this process is yet to be determined by the government.

“Our top priority is to protect our Muscatine County residents from COVID-19 and its complications with safe and effective vaccines,” Roby Williams said. “We remain committed to providing additional information regarding booster doses as it becomes available to our Muscatine County Public Health Department. Thank you for your continued fight against COVID-19.”

HHS, CDC, and FDA continue to study data to understand how long vaccine protection lasts. The authorized COVID-19 vaccines continue to effectively reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the highly prevalent Delta variant. Evidence has shown that over time vaccines provide less protection against mild and moderate COVID-19 disease.

· Vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 associated hospitalization was 86% during the first 2–12 weeks post-vaccination and 84% effective during the following 12-week period.

· The vaccine was found to be 90% effective against COVID-19 associated hospitalizations for people without immunocompromising conditions.

· For those with immunocompromising conditions, the vaccine was found to be only 63% effective against hospitalizations associated with COVID-19 (over the 24-week study).

· CDC now recommends that people whose immune systems are moderately to severely compromised should receive an additional dose of mRNA (Moderna or Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine at least four weeks after their second dose, for a total of three doses.

· Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to reduce the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19.

People who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout will need a booster dose to continue to have the maximum protection that the vaccines provide. CDC’s independent advisory committee, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), will continue to meet and discuss data on the evolution of the pandemic and the use of COVID-19 vaccines.

For information and updates related to COVID-19, visit Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC. For the joint statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on the COVID-19 booster shots, visit Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots |