President Biden: Americans can get COVID-19 booster 8 months after 2nd dose
President Joe Biden says Americans can get a COVID-19 vaccine booster eight months after their second dose.
Those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines could get their third shot as early as Sept. 20.
By then, the FDA is expected to give Pfizer full approval, allowing a third dose to be administered.
Approval for Moderna's vaccine is expected a few months later.
News 12 reached out to the state Health Department to find out where people will have to go to get their third shot after many mass vaccination sites have closed down. News 12 is still waiting for clarity on that, as well as who may get priority at the front of the line.
President Biden indicated once people reach the eight-month threshold, they can get their third dose at any vaccination site with their vaccine card.
New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker tells News 12 that once the FDA and CDC advisory committee give their official recommendations, he'll immediately call in the state's advisory task force to discuss and draw up their plan.
He said in part, "the Department will complete this process quickly as it has in the past and act swiftly, as we have already been planning for this development."
Dr. Robert Amler, a former chief medical officer of the CDC, says New York has a month to learn from the past and make this big endeavor simpler.
“People need to understand what is being offered, why it’s being offered, how it’s going to be distributed, who needs to go where to get their vaccine, and if you break it down into too many subgroups, it just gets complicated,” says Amler.
But some critics, including officials with the World Health Organization say we shouldn’t even be having this conversation - that the United States should instead, donate shots to undervaccinated countries.
“I’m afraid that this will only lead to more variants, more escaped variants, and perhaps we are heading into more dire situations,” Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist
But President Biden says the U.S. has donated more than 100 million doses to other countries and will continue to.
“The United States will donate more than 200 million additional doses to other countries. This will keep us on our way to meeting our pledge of more than 600 million vaccine donations,” said Biden.