A third shot in the arm will soon be part of the arsenal of tools in the fight against COVID-19.

The Biden-Harris administration plans to announce that all who received vaccinations should get another shot eight months later.

For those administered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, it means a third dose. As for those injected with the Johnson & Johnson dose, they will need a second vaccination.

Administration officials said the boosters could begin in September.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must first authorize the additional vaccine dose but Biden-Harris officials believe authorization will soon occur.

Officials anticipate that nursing home residents, health care and emergency workers will likely be first in line for the third shot.

Reportedly, the third shot is the same as the initial dose.

The decision for a third shot arrives as COVID-19 cases have surged to pandemic highs. With the delta variant raging, Florida, Mississippi, Hawaii, Oregon and Louisiana recorded all-time highs for the average number of new COVID-19 cases this week.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reported sending five mortuary trailers to San Antonio as health officials expect the death toll to rise dramatically. And while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues his executive order which bans vaccine and mask mandates, citizens of the Lone Star State continue to suffer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas recorded 144 deaths on Saturday. The state continues to average 80 deaths each day and hospital beds remain scarce.

More than 28% of hospital beds remain occupied by coronavirus patients in Florida, while Louisiana’s rate stands at 20.4%. Mississippi (18.7%), Hawaii (12.1%) and Oregon (11.4%) have rates above the 11 percent national average.

The New York Times reported that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has also risen in the Washington, D.C. area. D.C. currently has an average of 170 cases per day, a 114 percent increase from the average two weeks ago. Currently, D.C. stands at very high risk for unvaccinated people, the Times concluded.

On Monday, the U.S. reported 191,385 new COVID-19 cases, 84,739 coronavirus-related hospitalizations and 653 deaths.

“If you have plans for 2021 that involve a COVID-free celebration, cancel them,” tweeted Dr. Ebony Hilton, co-founder and medical director at GoodStock Consulting and a critical care anesthesiologist at the University of Virginia.

“This goes for weddings, birthday parties and holidays, she said. We could have learned from the error of our ways in 2020 but instead carried them right on into 2021.”

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Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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