Vaccine Demand Gets a Boost As Americans Worry Over Omicron

Vaccination rates are at their highest since May, though the majority of doses administered last week were booster shots.

12/6/2021 2:15:00 AM

On Thursday, the U.S. recorded 2.18 million shots —the “highest single-day total” of vaccinations since May, according to the White House

Vaccination rates are at their highest since May, though the majority of doses administered last week were booster shots.

While the increased demand represents an important boost of protection in the early days of the second pandemic winter, it has largely taken place among Americans who are already vaccinated and are eligible for a booster after all adults were approved on November 19 to get a third dose six months after initial vaccination. White House data shows that of the 2.17 million shots administered on Saturday, 1.25 million were boosters, and around 554,000 were new vaccinations. Among the new vaccinations, many are children age 5 to 11, who became eligible for the Pfizer shot early last month.

Good news on the demand side has meant some difficulty for many pharmacies, where White House data shows that Americans are currently opting to go for nearly two-thirds of all COVID vaccines in the U.S. While walk-in vaccinations were largely available throughout the fall, patients may have to wait several days to sign up for a shot appointment at major chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid — as staff shortages in some areas create further challenges. On Thursday, President Biden urged pharmacies to provide “more appointments, more walk-in hours — including on weeknights and weekends” among other initiatives aimed at increasing vaccinations and access to testing. The White House has also instructed these large chains to make “family-based scheduling” available in the coming months, while CVS Health has hired thousands of pharmacy technicians since September to help administer doses.

Read more: New York Magazine »

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