At least 1.5 million Americans received boosters of the Covid-19 Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the first five days after US regulators authorized additional doses, a White House official said Wednesday.
“Our booster program is getting off to a very good start,” Jeff Zientes, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, told reporters at a virtual press conference. He said the administration is working with states, pharmacies and other organizations to quickly get boosters for tens of millions of eligible Americans.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday approved Moderna and J&J Covid booster vaccines for millions of Americans.
Maryland National Guard Specialist James Truong (left) injects the Moderna coronavirus vaccine at Wheaton’s CASA de Maryland Welcome Center on May 21, 2021 in Wheaton, Maryland.
Chip Somodeville | Getty Images
The CDC authorized the prescribing of the Moderna booster to seniors and at-risk adults six months after they completed their initial series of shots, aligning it with the Pfizer and BioNTech booster distribution plan. He also confirmed the effectiveness of the J&J booster for adults who received their first vaccine at least two months ago.
Zient said Wednesday that at least 15 million Americans have received an additional dose of any legal Covid vaccine since health officials authorized third Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in August for people with weakened immune systems.
While the Biden administration is still working to convince hesitant adults to get their first Covid shots, he said, it is also preparing to distribute doses to younger age groups.
U.S. health officials are expected to approve a smaller dose of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for children aged 5-11 as early as next week.
The states have placed their initial orders for baby doses, Zientes said Wednesday, and millions of doses will be distributed by the US government after federal regulators sign their decision.
Approximately 28 million children will qualify for the Pfizer vaccine pending approval from the FDA and CDC, he said.