Georgia delivering booster vaccines in advance of holidays

FILE — A person displays a sticker after getting a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination.  (Alisha Jucevic/The New York Times)

Credit: NYT

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FILE — A person displays a sticker after getting a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination. (Alisha Jucevic/The New York Times)

Credit: NYT

With Thanksgiving gatherings less than two weeks away, the pace of COVID-19 vaccine boosters being delivered to Georgia’s seniors has picked up.

For the week ended Nov. 5, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 104,149 people over 65 got their booster shot, up 176% from the previous week. People over the age of 65 are more susceptible to serious illness caused by the coronavirus.

Both the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC have recommended boosters of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines for a limited population: those 65 years of age or older, or ages 18 to 64 with health conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, and people ages 18 to 64 who might be exposed to the virus because of where they live or work. Because the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine wasn’t as effective as its two-dose competitors, any J&J recipient can get a booster at least two months later.

Until the regulatory agencies change their official guidance, young and healthy people who are fully vaccinated aren’t advised to get a booster. Pfizer on Nov. 9 asked the FDA to greenlight its booster for anyone, so that guidance could change.

In Georgia, CDC reported on Nov. 5 that for ages 65 and up, 313,319 had received a booster, equal to 26% of those already fully vaccinated. Nationally, 13.3 million people in that age range have received booster doses, equal to 28% of those already fully vaccinated.

Among the state’s entire population, CDC reports 10% or 524,714 received a booster dose as of Nov. 5. Around the nation, that number is 11.5% of the fully vaccinated who have received a booster dose.