Today, following action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand eligibility for an additional booster shot to the most vulnerable, highest-risk Americans, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra issued the following statement:
“With COVID-19, vaccines remain the best tool we have to prevent severe disease and save lives. More than 200 million Americans have gotten vaccinated, and nearly 100 million have received a booster shot. The American people are stepping up to protect themselves and others from this virus.
“As we move forward safely, we are focused on staying ahead of the virus. To do that, it is a top priority to make sure Americans – especially the most vulnerable and those at highest risk of severe disease or death – have access to the vaccine doses that can help them increase their protection. We want to ensure we are not leaving the most vulnerable behind. Thanks to the FDA and CDC, and their strict commitment to following the science, people over 50 and the immunocompromised are now eligible for another shot. This is especially important for the elderly and those with serious underlying medical conditions in these populations. They are the people most likely to need this additional dose, and they can go get one as soon as they’re eligible. This action can help prevent hospitalizations and save lives.
“As FDA and CDC have also made clear, getting your third dose – the original booster shot – is incredibly important for everyone who is eligible. If you are vaccinated and boosted, your odds of getting severely ill, going to the hospital, or dying are dramatically lower. But too many people haven’t yet stepped up to get their booster shot. People can go to vaccines.gov to find free and easily available vaccines in their community. If we all do our part, we can continue to be safe, stay protected, and move forward together.”