Thursday, October 21, 2021

Jeff Gents: Nearly 2 million COVID-19 booster shots administered in first week

October 1 (WNN) — Jeff Gents, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Response Team, said Friday during the group’s regular report that nearly 2 million US residents have received booster shots in the first week of eligibility.

On September 22, the Food and Drug Administration approved coronavirus vaccine booster shots for individuals 65 years of age and older who are at high risk for severe cases of COVID-19 and who are at persistent institutional or occupational exposure.

“We estimate that by the end of the day, about 2 million Americans will have up their sleeves and received booster shots,” Ziants said. “Two million shots in the first week is a very strong start. The booster program is off to an ongoing start.”

Zients said the federal government is using clinics and pharmacies to help them reach those at high risk. He said that some state agencies have made efforts to contact the candidates through email, text and phone calls.

During the briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci pitched for booster shots in a series of slides with data from a study in Israel involving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

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In a study slide that described active severe coronavirus cases according to vaccine status, per 100,000 people in Israel, 174.2 cases included people without vaccinations, 33.7 cases included people who were given two shots. The vaccine was fully vaccinated and booster shots were involved in 3.4 cases.

“Conclusion… get vaccinated,” Fauci said.

Hitting out at the oft-repeated theme of “vaccination without the vaccinated,” Zints said the current push by President Joe Biden to mandate vaccinations among federal employees and companies with 100 or more employees is paying off. He pointed to United Airlines saying that 99% of its 67,000 employees are being vaccinated, where only 59% were vaccinated two months ago.

“The vaccine is the best tool we have against the virus,” Ziants said. “Getting more shots into weapons is the way out of this pandemic. Right now, three out of four eligible Americans have their first shots. It’s significant progress but there’s more work to be done.”

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