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A syringe is filled with a dose of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus. Photo: Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Germany and Britain have announced plans to offer a booster shot against the coronavirus starting as soon as September, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The decision to implement a booster shot reflects global concerns about protecting vulnerable populations as the Delta variant continues to spread at alarming rates.

  • Germany will prioritize offering the booster shot to those considered more at risk, such as people with weak immune systems, per Reuters. The country has also made plans to make vaccination available to all children aged 12 to 17.
  • Britain, which has shown a reluctance to return to pandemic-related restrictions, is slated to offer nearly 32 million doses to its citizens starting tentatively on Sept. 6.

The big picture: The U.K. has reported a daily average of 26,108, largely driven by the Delta variant, per the New York Times.

  • Germany has recorded 2,000 new cases a day since Wednesday, with a seven-day incidence average of about 18 per 100,000, per Reuters.
  • Mask and social distancing requirements expired on July 19 in England, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson citing the effectiveness of vaccines in his decision.

Go deeper

Sep 23, 2021 - Health

CDC director approves Pfizer boosters, adds eligibility for high-risk workers

Photo: Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A key panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people 65 years old and older, as well as those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

Driving the news: But in an unusual move, CDC director Rochelle Walensky late Thursday overruled part of the advisory committee's decision and said that workers in high-risk jobs should also be eligible for booster shots.

CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers

Rochelle Walensky listens during a confirmation hearing on July 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky on Friday reiterated her decision to go against a recommendation by a CDC advisory panel that refused to endorse booster shots for workers whose jobs put them at high risk for contracting COVID-19.

Driving the news: "Our healthcare systems are once again at maximum capacity in parts of the country, our teachers are facing uncertainty as they walk into the classroom," Walensky said at a Friday briefing. "I must do what I can to preserve the health across our nation."

Updated Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers — CDC director approves Pfizer boosters, adds eligibility for high-risk workers — FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up.
  2. Health: America's mismatched COVID fears — Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Health care workers and teachers caught up in booster confusion — Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.