All NJ residents will be told to get COVID booster
Just days after recommending those with a compromised immune system should get a COVID vaccine booster shot, federal health officials are expected to recommend everyone get a third dose.
The Associated Press is quoting two anonymous sources familiar with the matter, but not authorized to speak on the record.
The formal announcement is expected as early as this week. All individuals, regardless of age, will be told they should get a booster shot eight months after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
As the Delta variant continues to spread in the U.S. and New Jersey, and other variants are also being detected, health officials are convinced a third dose of the vaccine is needed to provide lasting protection.
The Delta variant accounts for more than 93% of all new confirmed infections in New Jersey, according to data provided by the New Jersey Department of health. The Gamma variant has also been detected in New Jersey, but accounts for only 1% of all new cases.
No documented cases of the Lambda variant have been found in New Jersey. First detected in Peru, and now present in California, Lambda is of concern because it has shown resistance to current vaccines.
To date, New Jersey has given out 10,771,370 doses of vaccine. 5,423,317 residents are considered fully vaccinated. We have one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation, but demand for the vaccine has been dropping.
We have a list of sites on New Jersey where the booster shot for the immunocompromised is currently being given out: here.
It is unclear if the sites listed above will also offer the booster to other residents, once the formal recommendation is made.
Initially, the recommendation for a third shot will cover those who received the Pfizer vaccine.
Also unclear, is whether demand for a booster shot will cause a vaccine shortage. The World Health Organization urged against recommending booster shots, fearing a shortage for countries that are struggling to provide even a single dose for many citizens.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.