Biden mandates nursing home vaccines as booster debate continues

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vials
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vials
Guteksk7 via Shutterstock

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will require nursing home staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Facilities that do not comply could lose federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization ripped the Biden administration for recommending coronavirus booster shots to Americans, saying those vaccine doses should go to countries that need them more.

“We believe clearly that the data today does not indicate that boosters are needed,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said at a news conference in Geneva.

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When will boosters be available? The plan calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The doses could begin the week of Sept. 20.

Data show the vaccines still provide strong protection from COVID-19 at least six months after the second dose. However, the protection gradually declines each month.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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