With more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines available, U.S. health authorities said they’re confident there will be enough for both qualified older Americans seeking booster shots and the young children for whom initial vaccines are expected to be approved in the not-too-distant future. Federal and state health authorities said the current supply and steady production of more doses can easily accommodate those seeking boosters or initial vaccination, avoiding a repeat of the frustratingly slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the country early this year.
The spike in demand — expected following last week’s federal recommendation on booster shots — would be the first significant jump in months. More than 70 million Americans remain unvaccinated despite the enticement of lottery prizes, free food or gifts, and pleas from exhausted health care workers as the average number of deaths per day climbed to more than 1,900 in recent weeks.
Robust supply in the U.S enabled President Joe Biden this week to promise an additional 500 million of Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots to share with the world, doubling the United States’ global contribution. Aid groups and health organizations have pushed the U.S. and other countries to improve vaccine access in countries where even the most vulnerable people haven’t had a shot.
While most vaccines can stay on the shelf unopened for months, once a vial is opened the clock starts ticking. Vaccines are only usable for six to 12 hours, depending on the manufacturer, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Moderna vaccines come in vials containing 11 to 15 doses. Pfizer vials contain up to six doses and Johnson & Johnson vials five doses.
If you don’t qualify for the booster, or you got the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines: if you’re fully vaccinated, you’re highly protected from severe illness even if you get COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/1FbMCy9san
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 26, 2021
U.S. health officials late Thursday endorsed booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine for all Americans 65 and older — along with tens of millions of younger people who are at higher risk from the coronavirus because of health conditions or their jobs.
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Pfizer & Moderna are working on booster vaccines. Some of the booster trials include RSV vaccine for older adults. Other trials include Delta, influenza & other diseases.
Moderna is ahead, & will be the first to market. pic.twitter.com/3dpivrCv2n
— Arctic Friend (@FriendEden100) September 26, 2021