Fewer than 2% of eligible Americans have elected to receive a new COVID booster shot, according to CDC data.
While more than 4.4 million Americans have received a “bivalent” COVID booster shot, only 1.5% of people for whom the shot is available have actually gotten it since the CDC started recommending it several weeks ago. The latest COVID vaccine booster is designed with Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 in mind.
The CDC’s COVID vaccine tracker shows that 67.8% of the U.S. population who are eligible for the vaccine have completed the primary series of shots. The Bloomberg tracker shows that 32.5% have received at least one booster.
On September 1, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky recommended the booster, providing the following statement: “The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant. They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants. This recommendation followed a comprehensive scientific evaluation and robust scientific discussion. If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster and I strongly encourage you to receive it.”
As the CDC and many public health officials are recommending booster shots, the White House is dealing with an unforced crisis regarding COVID after President Joe Biden said that the pandemic was “over” during a recent “60 Minutes” interview.
“Mr. President, first Detroit Auto Show in three years. Is the pandemic over?” host Scott Pelley asked.
“The pandemic is over,” Biden claimed. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. It’s — but the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing, and I think this is a perfect example of it.”
Following Biden’s claim, as well as subsequent backlash from many on the Left, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre walked back the president’s remark during an appearance on MSNBC.
According to The New York Times, as of September 22, the 7-day average daily COVID cases stood at over 55,000 with approximately 424 deaths. The highest 7-day average came in January 2022 with over 800,000, and the highest 7-day death counts came in January 2021 with over 3,300 deaths.