In an Oct. 25 briefing, President Joe Biden urged Americans to get their updated COVID-19 booster vaccines and announced additional national vaccination efforts.
The president emphasized that previously vaccinated Americans should receive their updated vaccine upon eligibility to maintain the greatest amount of protection against COVID-19.
“Your old vaccine or your previous COVID infection will not give you maximum protection,” said Biden.
The updated vaccines target not only the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, but also the original SARS-CoV-2 variant.
As part of the Biden administration’s efforts to ensure high-risk Americans get informed and get vaccinated as soon as possible, the Department of Health and Human Services will launch the #VaxUpAmerica Family Vaccine Tour and work with national and community-based organizations to reach families where they are with COVID-19 vaccine information. Additionally, the agency will launch ads targeted toward rural and other underserved communities in a variety of languages.
Walgreens also is working with Uber and DoorDash to deliver prescriptions of Paxlovid, an oral medication authorized to treat COVID-19, at no cost to patients who live in a socially vulnerable community based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will target older Americans during the Medicare open enrollment period by sending a second reminder to the 16 million people who signed up to receive Medicare emails and a message on the 1.800.MEDICARE line with information about the updated vaccines and how to get them.
Both Biden and White House Coronavirus Coordinator Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, stated, that moving forward, Americans should treat COVID-19 vaccines like flu shots and get annual shots.
Health leaders fear the spread not only of COVID-19 but also the flu and other respiratory illnesses as winter approaches and more people gather indoors.
However, Jha stressed that, “Unlike past winters, we are in control. We have the tools we need to ensure folks have a safe and healthy holiday season. And the single most important tool is the updated COVID-19 vaccine.”
Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.
Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.