President Joe Biden announced a plan to offer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots beginning the week of September 20.
“The plan is for every adult to get a booster shot eight months after you got your second shot,” Biden said during a COVID briefing Wednesday.
“We will be ready to start this booster program during the week of September 20,” Biden continued.
The announcement comes as speculation has intensified in recent days that the White House was going to start pushing for booster shots for vaccinated Americans, as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads across the country.
“The data we’ve seen to date suggest a third dose of our vaccine elicits antibody levels that significantly exceed those seen after the two-dose primary schedule. We are pleased to submit these data to the FDA as we continue working together to address the evolving challenges of this pandemic,” said Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla.
Biden said Americans should get a booster shot eight months after receiving their second dose.
Biden also took aim at governors who have moved to block mask mandates in their states, threatening to pursue legal action through the Department of Education.
“I’m directing the secretary of education, an educator himself, to take additional steps to protect our children,” Biden said. “This includes using all of his oversight authorities and legal action — if appropriate, against governors who are trying to block and intimidate local school officials and educators.”
So far seven states have moved to prohibit public school districts from imposing mask requirements in schools.
The president also announced vaccination requirements for certain nursing home workers.
“If you work in a nursing and serve people on Medicare or Medicaid, you will also be required to get vaccinated,” Biden said.
The president noted that vaccination rates among nursing home staff “significantly trail the rest of the country,” a fact that has made him decide to “use the power of the federal government” to “ensure that we reduce those risks for or vulnerable seniors.”