DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Biden administration rolled out its plan Wednesday for giving booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine after the Delta variant fuels a coronavirus case surge across the country.

Biden’s plan involves adults receiving their booster vaccine eight months after their second dose and hopes are to begin that process on September 20. However, some health leaders say his announcement came as a surprise.

Local health leaders believe President Biden bypassed the medical community by setting a date for booster vaccines to be distributed. Before a date is even discussed, several events have to take place first.

“I can certainly say the medical community was surprised to hear his plan today because the FDA, CDC and ACIP have not said that,” said Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson. “This is not typical that an administration would get in front of the medical professionals that lay this out, so this is an interesting date and we’ll see if all the other agencies can get in line to do that.”

Before booster vaccines are distributed:

  • First, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines must have full FDA approval.
  • Health leaders are still questioning if the Johnson and Johnson vaccines need a second dose, but at this time Patterson says no one is even able to order new doses from distributors.
  • Then, the CDC must approve the booster vaccine before the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices approves it.
  • Finally, local medical directors must also approve the booster dose.

None of these events have taken place.

“We’re really happy that we have a target date but we can’t be assured it’s going to happen because a lot of things have to fall in place prior to that occurring,” said Patterson.

Patterson advises residents that Biden’s COVID-19 Booster plan is not to be confused with the immunocompromised 3rd doses that are already currently underway. Any immunocompromised residents that qualified for a third dose have a separate application and are needed to reach full immunity the general public received with two doses. 

Additionally, Biden also mandated COVID-19 vaccines for nursing home staff as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding. 2 NEWS reached out to several nursing homes in the area and all did not have a comment at this time.