President Joe Biden received his second COVID-19 booster shot on Wednesday, as the White House rolled out efforts to help Americans live with the coronavirus, including a new website and a push for vaccinations and funding. On Tuesday, U.S. health officials authorized a second booster shot for Americans age 50 and older and those who are immunocompromised, two years after the start of the pandemic. The 79-year-old Biden received his fourth dose of the Pfizer vaccine. A second booster of Moderna’s shot also was authorized.
Biden said in remarks at the White House launching COVID.gov, “If we fail to invest, we leave ourselves vulnerable if another wave hits.” COVID.gov is described as ‘a clearinghouse of information aimed at helping people manage the virus as they seek a return to normalcy.’ Biden, who had sought $22.5 billion in funding, has also asked Congress to pay for current vaccinations and treatments, as well to prepare the nation for future outbreaks. Biden said: “We need to secure additional supply now. Congress, please act… immediately. The consequences of inaction are severe.”
Several drugstore chains, including CVS Health and Walgreens said they would start offering second booster doses. Although vaccines and increasingly available therapies for COVID-19 have reduced severe illness and deaths, public health officials are monitoring BA.2, an Omicron sub-variant that now accounts for more than half of all U.S. cases. U.S. officials have said they do not expect another major surge, but noted COVID cases could rise from BA.2 or a subsequent variant, reflecting the administration’s position that the country must learn to live with and adapt to some level of this coronavirus.
Biden this month warned the U.S. government would run out of funding for supplies without more support. The president warned free COVID vaccines may not be available this autumn without more funds, especially if a new vaccine is needed.
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