Biden announces COVID booster shots for Americans; nursing home staff now required to get vaccine
WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden says Americans who have been vaccinated twice against COVID-19 should soon get a third booster shot to try to stop the virus spread.
A number of states are running low on hospital beds, and Alabama does not have any ICU beds left in the state.
Currently, Alabama has more than 2,700 people hospitalized because of COVID. Doctors there say they are in unchartered territory.
In addition, President Biden is going to require nursing home employees be vaccinated or risk the loss of federal funds that often comprise a big part of their receipts.
Beginning on September 20, a massive nationwide campaign to deliver booster shots will begin for those who have gotten the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
"Eight months after your second shot, get a booster shot. These booster shots are free," Biden said. "It will be easy. Just show your vaccination card and you'll get a booster. No other ID. No insurance. No state residency requirement."
A top doctor at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that research shows the protection provided by the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines is fading. She said their 75% effective rate last march has declined to 53% this month.
"We are concerned that the current strong protection against severe infection, hospitalization and death could decrease in the months ahead, especially among those or at higher risk or who were vaccinated earlier during the phases of our vaccination rollout," said Rochelle Walensky.
Experts say the one shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine will likely need a booster, too, awaiting further research results.
In the last two weeks, more than seven-million Americans have gotten a vaccine, which is the highest number in more than two weeks.