(Reuters) -Nearly 3.3 million people in the United States received updated COVID-19 booster shots over the past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday.
The CDC said 14.8 million Americans had received the shot as of Oct. 12, in the first six weeks of the booster being available, just 6.9% of the people aged 12 or older who are eligible for the vaccine.
The shots are being administered at a slower pace than last year, when the United States initially authorized COVID boosters just for older and immunocompromised people. Over 20 million people had received their third shot in the first six weeks of that vaccination campaign.
On Wednesday, U.S. health regulators authorized the use of Omicron-tailored COVID-19 booster shots from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc in children as young as 5 years, a move that is expected to expand the government’s fall vaccination campaign.
The White House last week said it expected the rate of vaccination in its fall booster campaign to pick up over the coming weeks, and its COVID response coordinator Dr Ashish Jha characterized the initial pace as “a really good start”.
The United States in September started rolling out the updated COVID shots, redesigned to take on both the circulating BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants and the original version of the virus.
The CDC tally includes booster shots from both Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna.
(Reporting by Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru;Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)
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