On August 12, the FDA announced that third doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines would be made available for patients with compromised immune systems. A few days later, the CDC followed up with detailed recommendations about who would qualify. Then, just another few days after that, the Biden administration announced that everyone will eventually need booster shots, and they may be available to the general public as early as September.
After all that, World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan suggested that prioritizing booster shots in wealthier countries like the U.S. could lead to more variants, and other scientists have come out saying it’s still too soon. The onslaught of new information has caused some confusion.
First up for the third shots are a limited number of individuals the CDC considers moderate to severely immunocompromised. The third shots are available for these individuals today.
For the rest of the population, for whom the vaccine is gradually losing some efficacy, the Biden administration hopes to start offering the shots near the end of September, starting with the same groups that were vaccinated earliest during the first vaccine rollout: healthcare workers and people over the age of 65.