There’s clearly an open divide in the United States between those who are vaccinated and those who are not. But among those who are, there remains significant concern that the Delta variant, and other future variants, will require booster shots in the future.
Some, according to a new report, have even taken those shots, even though they’re not supposed to.
According to ABC News, which discovered an internal briefing document from the Centers For Disease Control, about 1.1 million Americans who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines have received an unauthorized coronavirus booster shot.
Reports, also by ABC, had stated that the FDA is likely to recommend booster shots within weeks, especially for Americans who are immunocompromised.
More people have gotten the extra shot in Florida than anywhere else, with Ohio, California, Illinois and Tennessee also among states were unauthorized boosters were reported the most.
The ABC report added that the 1.1 million figure is likely an undercount since it doesn’t take into account those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“It’s also unclear whether people who received the third shot did so under the direction of a doctor,” the ABC report said. “The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t authorized a third shot to boost immunity, although there are reports of some physicians encouraging severely immunocompromised patients to do so.”
It’s also unclear how exactly the CDC arrived at the 1.1 million number, and whether it was by patients reporting that themselves or some other method of measurement. It’s also not clear exactly how most recipients got the extra shots.
A report by Axios earlier this week found that in the first half of 2021, the United States purchased 41 percent of the world’s vaccines, despite only making up about 5 percent of the world’s population.
“Vaccine makers have sent more vaccines and charged higher prices to wealthy countries, including the U.S. The higher prices are part of the reason Pfizer and Moderna have advocated for booster shots even though their vaccines remain very effective after six months and against the Delta variant,” Axios said in its report.
Also, Pfizer and Moderna have grabbed more than 90 percent of the total revenue from the vaccines worldwide. Pfizer has grossed $4.1 billion in the United States and $7.2 billion outside the country, while Moderna grabbed $3.5 billion in sales domestically and just $2.5 billion internationally. While the vaccines are distributed freely to the population, at least in the United States, governments and non-governmental organizations have made mass purchases of the vaccines from the company.
The report added that the World Health Organization has instituted a moratorium on booster shots.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.