Booster shots already being delivered in Georgia

As the number of new COVID-19 cases in Georgia starts to tick upward ahead of Thanksgiving, The Food and Drug Administration has authorized booster vaccines for all adults.

Georgia families packing up to travel to Thanksgiving gatherings or preparing to host a dinner are currently enjoying relatively low case numbers of the virus, but a booster shot for those already vaccinated may be one tool to keep those numbers low through the December holidays.

While overall COVID-19 cases in Georgia are down sharply from the summer surge, new infections have been climbing upward over the past week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nationwide 31.4 million people have received booster shots, representing 17% of all adults who are fully vaccinated.

In Georgia, according to the state Department of Public Health, 690,227 Georgians have received a booster dose since they were authorized for some people on Aug. 13. That means 13.3% of fully vaccinated Georgians have had a booster shot.

Over the past seven days, Georgia has been reporting an average of 1,065 new cases each day, according to DPH. More new cases are showing up in ages 30 to 59 than in the older population. The state reports ages 60 and older account for an average of 117 new cases each day, while ages 30 to 59 have been posting an average of 324 new cases each day.

Seniors continue to be the most vulnerable to serious illness caused by the virus, and with the vaccine showing waning efficacy five to six months after vaccination, boosters for that age group were among the first authorized by health officials.

The CDC reports that around the U.S., 37% of all fully vaccinated people 65 and over have received a booster, while in Georgia a third of those 65 and up already vaccinated have now received boosters.

The CDC also reported the number of boosters administered to Georgians over age 18 this week was down 35% from the previous week.

But Friday’s booster approval for all adults could lead to a rise in demand for booster shots.

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