Story at a glance

  • Some Americans are taking vaccine booster matters into their own hands as the delta variant surges across the U.S.
  • Various health care companies have processes in place — including questionnaires asking about prior vaccination status — to potentially discourage a person from getting an unauthorized booster shot.
  • But there has yet to be a centralized system monitoring vaccine status for companies and providers to verify data.

Some Americans are taking vaccine booster matters into their own hands as the delta variant surges across the U.S. — a trend that could prove to be challenging for medical providers. 

Booster shots for the three authorized vaccines in the U.S. have yet to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as officials continue to debate whether additional doses are needed. The high level discussion, however, has not deterred some, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is beginning to track the data. 

“We have the capacity and are looking at those data right now,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Monday, according to STAT News


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Camille Kotton, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a member of the CDC Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices, said at a panel discussion in July that those seeking to subvert guidelines are creating significant challenges. 

Kotton said the patients who’ve received extra doses on their own initiative have created a challenging situation, adding that their “hands are really tied with the current regulatory situation,” according to The Washington Post. Meanwhile, she expressed concerns over people seeking extra doses on their own while others remain unvaccinated. 

Various health care companies have processes in place — including questionnaires asking about prior vaccination status — to potentially discourage a person from getting an unauthorized booster shot. But there has yet to be a centralized system monitoring vaccine status for companies and providers to verify data. 


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Rebecca Coyle, executive director of the American Immunization Registry Association, told STAT News vaccine availability has not created enough of an issue in recent weeks to force a conversation about a registry to monitor people looking for additional vaccine doses. 

“Reviewing a person’s history before administration has been the best practice for many years,” Coyle told STAT News. “It’s time for a conversation about, ‘Maybe I should do that,’ as it hasn’t been on everyone’s minds yet.”

“People are frightened, and they are not sure what to do,” Coyle added. “There are so many reasons why someone would be motivated to seek an additional shot and it’s hard to catch all of those, so registries can be leveraged to ask questions.”


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Published on Aug 03, 2021