Baltimore will be prepared to begin administering boosters of the coronavirus vaccine by Sept. 20, city officials announced Thursday.
Citing a recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, city Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said Baltimore will set up a semi-permanent location to distribute booster doses, starting with people who received priority status when getting their initial vaccinations including health care workers and first responders.
Booster doses also will be distributed to clinics and mobile vaccination units that have been serving areas of the city with lower vaccination rates, Dzirasa said.
Availability of the boosters remains subject to clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, she said.
On Wednesday, the CDC called for an extra dose of the vaccine to be distributed to the recipients of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines eight months after people got their second shot. Officials believe those who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine also probably will need extra shots, but a recommendation has yet to be made.
International officials with the World Health Organization oppose the U.S. booster plan, arguing that poorer countries are not getting enough vaccine for their first rounds of shots.
Other experts have worried that calling for boosters could undermine efforts to get people their first dose of the vaccine by reinforcing concerns about the shot’s effectiveness.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.