After weeks of planning, pharmacies and states in the United States are making Pfizer boosters available.


In the wake of federal approval of booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for many fully vaccinated Americans, some states have announced plans to get even more gun shots.

Dr Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommended vaccines Friday morning for frontline workers, as well as for people over 65 and many people with sub-health conditions. present, canceling an advisory committee of the agency. Individuals must also have received a second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago.

Tens of millions of Americans woke up eligible for booster shots. In a recent poll, about three-quarters of Americans vaccinated said they would opt for a booster if the doses were available. Federal authorities on Friday recommended self-attestation as the best method of determining who might receive a booster dose.

“We worked closely with partners, including governors, pharmacies, physicians, long-term care facilities and other providers, so that eligible Americans could receive a recall in approximately 80,000 locations across the country, including more than 40,000 local pharmacies, “Jeffrey D. Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said at a press conference Friday.

More than 70% of current vaccine administration has already taken place in pharmacies, according to a presentation by the CDC at the agency advisers meeting on Thursday.

CVS and Walgreens both said on Friday they were ready to administer recalls. CVS said it would rely on customers’ “self-attestation” to determine eligibility.

State health departments generally follow CDC recommendations, and many on Friday were eager to move forward.

In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that all eligible residents of the state could immediately receive booster injections after federal clearance, which he called “a long time.”

In Indiana, the Department of Health announced that Pfizer boosters are now available to eligible residents.

And in Vermont, officials said residents aged 80 and over can sign up for recalls, and the state will expand eligibility to those 65 and over over the next week.

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Many states began planning their booster deployments shortly after President Biden announced a plan for the Pfizer and Moderna boosters in mid-August, but the plan was followed by criticism that the White House was ahead of the regulatory process and internal disagreement within the Biden administration. on the need for boosters.

Over the weeks, many independent scientists and regulators had pointed out that there was little research on who might benefit from the additional injections. Eventually, the plan to quickly deliver Moderna boosters was scrapped, to give the FDA more time to collect and study the data. And science advisers at the FDA and CDC struggled last week over who should get Pfizer boosters and why.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a plan that will help eligible people access boosters, primarily through pharmacies and their primary care providers. Mass vaccination sites in the state could be reopened, according to the plan.

Across the country, New York City planned to help distribute vaccines by making $ 65 million available to local health departments, which would pave the way for the distribution of boosters, and providing training to more than 50,000 emergency medical technicians to administer the vaccine, Governor Kathy Hochul said in recent weeks.

“We think it’s really important that more people get this just as an extra layer of protection, like putting on an extra winter coat when the weather starts to get cold,” Ms Hochul said at a conference. press Thursday, adding that the boosters will be made available in pharmacies, nursing homes and on site in various businesses.

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In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier this month that the city would use more than 1,900 vaccination sites in the five boroughs and carry out various outreach efforts. He said eligible New Yorkers could get boosters “from this exact moment on” in an interview Friday morning on “The Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC.

Alison Beam, Acting Secretary of Health for Pennsylvania, on Tuesday signed an order that will require vaccine suppliers to offer online vaccine appointment scheduling, live scheduling assistance, appointments walk-in and coordination with local care agencies to help plan for housebound residents.

In West Virginia, which faces some of the worst viral conditions of any state, Governor Jim Justice and public health officials have called on federal regulators to approve boosters to strengthen protection for older and more vulnerable citizens .

“Our federal government moves like a turtle, and quite often it moves like a turtle in the wrong direction,” he told a press conference on Friday.

Major General Jim Hoyer, a retired National Guard officer who heads the interagency task force that coordinates West Virginia’s vaccination efforts, said on Friday that reminders were already “given as we are during of this press conference “.

Coral Murphy Marcos contributed reporting.


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