Oct 13, 2021 - Health

COVID-19 booster shots overtake first doses in the U.S.

Daily COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

More Americans are getting a booster dose of coronavirus vaccine each day than are getting their first shot.

Why it matters: Some individuals will undoubtedly benefit from getting a booster shot, but experts say that the most important goal for the U.S. right now should be convincing vaccine holdouts to get their initial round of shots.

Where it stands: Two-thirds of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, as has about 77% of the eligible population, according to the CDC.

  • Only 4.6% of the U.S. population has received a booster shot, as most Americans aren't yet eligible. However, nearly 12% of people 65 and older have received a booster.

What we're watching: An FDA advisory panel will consider booster shots for some Moderna and J&J recipients beginning tomorrow. If these shots are authorized, that means the number of Americans receiving boosters each day will almost certainly increase.

  • Although the Delta wave has convinced some people to get vaccinated — as have vaccine mandates — there aren't that many unvaccinated adults left who are willing to get their shots.

Yes, but: If and when the vaccine is authorized for young children, that will also nudge up the overall vaccination rate in the U.S.

  • And more vaccine mandates will likely go into effect in the near-term future.
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