COVID Boosters Now Surpassing Initial Round of Inoculations

A new NBC News analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that the number of people receiving booster shots is outpacing those getting their first or second doses of the initial vaccination, and is contributing to a modest increase in Covid vaccinations in October. An average of nearly 400,000 people per day have received booster shots in the previous seven days, double from the week before

Of the 6.7 million shots administered from September 30th to October 6th, nearly 2.7 million were booster shots. That’s compared to the nearly 2 million first doses and nearly 2 million second doses in the same period.

Of the approximately 6.4 million boosters administered in all, 4 million have gone to seniors, while the remaining 2.2 million shots have gone to adults from 18 to 64 years old. The booster is also recommended for people in high-risk groups working in the public sector, such as first responders, transit workers, teachers and other educational staff, and grocery store employees. The Biden administration announced the booster shot plan for most adults in August as a way to combat the Delta variant, but the plan was scaled down when the Moderna vaccine was excluded from that booster rollout because more time was needed to review its data.


Late last month a CDC advisory committee voted to only approve the Pfizer booster for seniors and those with health conditions. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky sidestepped that decision by adding eligibility for those at high risk of being exposed to the virus at work, including health care workers and teachers. Additionally, many were still able to receive booster shots due to authorization in August for those with compromised immune systems. This authorization included Moderna, and according to CDC data, 1.4 million people have received a booster of Moderna.

In the two weeks since the Food and Drug Administration authorized a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot for seniors and high-risk individuals, roughly 4.9 million boosters have been administered in total, according to CDC data.

Johnson & Johnson filed for booster authorization Tuesday.

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