WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Over 15 million people in the United States, around 4.5% of the population, had received the updated COVID-19 shots by Oct. 27, a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson said on Wednesday, lagging behind last year’s vaccinations.
Close to 23 million people had received updated boosters as of Oct. 26 last year, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows. The 2022 fall vaccination campaign started around 10 days earlier than this year’s.
“As of Oct. 27, more than 15 million Americans have received the updated COVID-19 vaccine and over 19 million vaccines have shipped to pharmacies and other locations, with 91% of Americans 12 years and older living within 5-miles of a vaccination site,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
The updated shots from Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna or Novavax are single-target vaccines aimed at the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus, which was dominant in the U.S. for much of this year but has since been overtaken by other variants as the virus evolves.
Rollout of the Pfizer and Moderna shots began in earnest after the CDC recommended them on Sept. 12. The rollout of last year’s updated shots targeting two virus variants started about 10 days earlier, and by Oct. 26, around 23 million Americans had rolled up their sleeves for one of them.
U.S. public health officials have expressed hope that Americans will welcome the new vaccines as they would an annual flu shot. But demand for COVID vaccines has dropped sharply since 2021, when they first became available.
Around 56.5 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, received last year’s version of the vaccines.
(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein in Washington and Michael Erman in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Aurora Ellis)
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Publish date : 2023-11-02 14:34:54
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