Only half of eligible Americans have gotten their first COVID booster

Only half of eligible Americans have gotten their first COVID booster
Photo by Mufid Majnun / Unsplash

As the fall season approaches, the United States is renewing its efforts to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, who continue to bear the brunt of the nation's COVID-19 crisis. Despite the availability of booster shots, the uptake of vaccinations among eligible populations remains relatively low.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of the over 61 million people in the US who are eligible for their second COVID-19 booster shot, only a third have received it. Similarly, less than half of eligible Americans over the age of 5 who are eligible for their first booster shot have received it.

This is a concerning trend, especially given that older Americans are particularly susceptible to severe forms of COVID-19. The White House COVID-19 coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, emphasized the urgency of getting vaccinated, particularly for those over the age of 50. "One of the key messages coming out of this moment is: If you are 50 or over and you have not gotten a shot this year ... it is absolutely critical that you go out and get one now," he said in an interview with ABC.

While the immunity provided by vaccines does decrease over time, CDC data shows that booster doses significantly increase protection against severe forms of COVID-19 and death, particularly among older Americans. Among people aged 50 years and older, the unvaccinated had a risk of dying from COVID-19 that was 29 times higher than their fully vaccinated and double-boosted peers.

Getting vaccinated is not only important for personal protection but also for reducing the spread of the virus and protecting the community. As we move forward into the fall and winter seasons, it is crucial for eligible individuals to get vaccinated and receive their booster shots to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

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