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Biden administration to offer vaccine booster shots beginning Sept. 20, require vaccinations for nursing home staff

President Biden said on Aug. 18 that after Sept. 20, vaccinated Americans can get booster shots against coronavirus eight months after their second injection. (Video: The Washington Post)

The Biden administration will begin offering coronavirus booster shots the week of Sept. 20, top health officials announced Wednesday, after concluding that a third shot is needed to fight off waning immunity.

Officials said the decision was driven by data showing a decline over time in the vaccines’ ability to protect against less serious disease; evidence that boosters work and that more protection may be needed against the dominant delta variant; and a desire to stave off any potential decrease in the shots’ effectiveness against severe illness.

The officials said the plan would only be implemented if the Food and Drug Administration approved boosters and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisers recommended them.  

Here’s what to know

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Here's what to know:

Protection against the coronavirus from vaccines declined in the midsummer months when the delta variant rose to dominance in the United States, according to new studies published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health-care workers across the nation say they are struggling to manage the latest wave of coronavirus cases.
The World Health Organization criticized wealthy countries’ decision to give out booster shots as poorer nations struggle to access even first doses for vulnerable groups.
President Biden ordered Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to take action against governors who have banned universal masking in public schools.
Florida’s largest school district became the latest in the state to defy mask mandate restrictions ordered by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).


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Coronavirus: What you need to know

Where do things stand? See the latest covid numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people.

The state of public health: Conservative and libertarian forces have defanged much of the nation’s public health system through legislation and litigation as the world staggers into the fourth year of covid.

Grief and the pandemic: A Washington Post reporter covered the coronavirus — and then endured the death of her mother from covid-19. She offers a window into grief and resilience.

Would we shut down again? What will the United States do the next time a deadly virus comes knocking on the door?

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

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