We are supported by readers, when you click & purchase through links on our site we earn affiliate commission. Learn more.

Vaccine boosters for more people are on the horizon. But the unvaccinated remain the biggest obstacle to curbing the pandemic

While more people are likely to be eligible for Covid-19 vaccine booster shots, the most glaring issue prolonging the pandemic is the large swath of unvaccinated people, who are filling up hospitals and dying from the persistent virus, officials and health experts said. Advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday greenlighted recommending emergency use authorization of a booster dose of Pfizer’s vaccine six months after full vaccination for people 65 and older and those at high risk of severe illness from the virus. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention is meeting next week with its vaccine advisers, and the agency determines the final approval for the shots. But with 54.4% of the US total population fully vaccinated, health experts reiterated that booster shots are not the answer to ending the pandemic. Dr. Paul Offit, who is a member of the FDA Vaccines Advisory Committee, said vaccinating every eligible Americans remained the most important strategy. “What is going to be the change in the arc of this pandemic by giving a third dose to people who are already vaccinated as compared to giving two doses to people unvaccinated?” Offit told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday. It’s been a bleak trajectory in terms of hospitalizations and deaths over the past few months. On Thursday, the seven-day average of Covid-19 deaths hit 1,464, according to the CDC, the highest it’s been since March 1, which was before the widespread availability of the vaccines. In West Virginia, where 74 people have died from the virus since Wednesday, the governor is pleading for residents to get vaccinated. The state has fully vaccinated only 40.1% of its population, CDC data shows. “We’re either going to run into the fire and get vaccinated right now, or we’re going to pile the body bags up until we reach a point in time to where we have enough people that have immunities and enough people that are vaccinated,” Gov. Jim Justice said Friday during a news conference. “The only thing I have in my arsenal that will make this get better is for you to get vaccinated. That’s all I’ve got.”

Leave a Comment