OUT: GET VACCINATED AND YOU PROBABLY NEED A BOOSTER. IN: People chasing Covid-19 vaccine boosters create headaches for the health care system.

The entire U.S. health care system has been single-mindedly focused on getting Covid-19 vaccine shots in arms, but as the Delta variant spreads, the country’s decentralized vaccination campaign is presenting a different challenge — how to police people seeking unauthorized booster shots.

The buzz around booster shots for Covid-19 vaccines has intensified in recent weeks as Pfizer has sought approval for a third shot of its vaccine regimen, and Israel, the United Kingdom, and Germany have greenlit additional shots. Federal officials in the United States say that booster shots are not needed yet. But some anxious patients are nonetheless trying to get them — either by asking a health care provider willing to prescribe an extra shot, or by lying about their earlier vaccination.

So there. But maybe they’re depriving people who want a first shot of chances? Nope. “Because vaccine supplies have been so plentiful in recent weeks, ensuring patients aren’t overloading on vaccines hasn’t necessarily been top of mind for providers.”

This story line seems to be appearing all over all of a sudden. Why?