Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
A third shot in the arm is next in the desperate battle against COVID-19.
The Biden-Harris administration plans to announce that all who received vaccinations should get another one eight months later.
For those administered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots, it means a third dose.
Individuals injected with the Johnson & Johnson dose will need a second vaccination.
Administration officials said the boosters could begin in September.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must first authorize the additional vaccine dose, but Biden-Harris officials believe authorization will occur.
Officials anticipate that nursing home residents, health care, and emergency workers will likely be first in line for the third shot.
Reportedly, the third shot is the same as the initial dose.
The decision for a third shot arrives as COVID cases have surged to pandemic highs.
With the delta variant raging, Florida, Mississippi, Hawaii, Oregon, and Louisiana recorded all-time highs for the average number of new COVID cases this week.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was sending five mortuary trailers to San Antonio, Texas, as health officials expect the death toll to rise dramatically.
As Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues his executive order that bans vaccine and mask mandates, the Lone Star State has suffered.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas recorded 144 deaths on Saturday, August 14.
The state continues to average 80 deaths each day, and hospital beds remain scarce.
More than 28 percent of hospital beds are occupied by Covid patients in Florida, while Louisiana’s rate stands at 20.4 percent. Mississippi (18.7 percent), Hawaii (12.1 percent), and Oregon (11.4 percent) have rates above the 11 percent national average.
The New York Times reported that the number of hospitalized Covid patients has also risen in the Washington, D.C. area.
“Deaths have remained at about the same level, while the test positivity rate in Washington, D.C. is relatively low, suggesting that testing capacity is adequate for evaluating Covid-19 spread in the area,” the newspaper noted.
D.C. currently has an average of 170 cases per day, a 114 percent increase from the average two weeks ago.
Currently, D.C. is at very high risk for unvaccinated people, the Times concluded.
On Monday (August 16), the nation realized 191,385 new Covid cases, 84,739 Covid-related hospitalizations, and 653 deaths.
“If you have plans for 2021 that involve a Covid-free celebration, cancel them,” tweeted Dr. Ebony Hilton, co-founder and medical director at GoodStock Consulting and a critical care anesthesiologist at the University of Virginia.
“This goes for weddings, birthday parties, and holidays. We could have learned from the error of our ways in 2020 but instead carried them right on into 2021.”