1.1 million Americans are believed to have obtained unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine booster shots

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1.1 million Americans are believed to have obtained unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine booster shots
A member of the US Armed Forces administers a shot of the Pfizer vaccine at a FEMA community vaccination center in Philadelphia. Mark Makela/Getty Images
  • The CDC has said COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are not necessary at this time.
  • Studies show vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death.
  • Still, a government document obtained by ABC News said some people got unauthorized boosters anyway.

More than one million Americans have received unauthorized booster shots of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a government document obtained by ABC News.

In July, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a joint statement with the Food and Drug Administration stressing that "Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time."

Similarly, last week the Worth Health Organization has called for a halt on so-called booster shots (or additional doses), because many nations do not yet have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

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"I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. " But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it."

But, according to a CDC briefing document, at least 1.1 million people have obtained one anyway, ABC News reported.

The outlet suggested that was likely an undercount as it does not capture those who received a Johnson & Johnson, one-dose vaccine and then received a shot of Pfizer or Moderna's inoculation.

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In a statement to Insider, the CDC said: "We do not comment on leaked documents."

Speaking to Insider, several people who have received unauthorized booster shots cited fears over the Delta variant - and, in particular, concern that the J&J shot, a more traditional vaccine, is not as effective as those that use mRNA technology.

Studies show all available vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19, and greatly reduce the risk of becoming infected in the first place.

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Both Moderna and Pfizer, however, have said a third booster shot may be necessary months from now to stave off waning immunity.

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