White House launches year-end push to improve lagging COVID vaccinations

The White House on Wednesday launched a six week sprint aimed at convincing Americans to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year.

The administration said the focus of the campaign will be on seniors and vulnerable communities hardest hit by the virus.

Public health officials have repeatedly warned that the U.S. will likely face another wave of COVID-19 infections as the weather gets colder and people travel and gather for the holidays. White House officials had previously called for the public to get booster shots in time for Halloween. 

The government has purchased 171 million doses of the updated vaccine. But well into November, uptake of the new booster shots has been extremely low, frustrating health experts and officials.

“Please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family, and your community,” White House medical advisor Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.

About 35 million people in the U.S. have gotten the updated shots, about 11 percent of those aged five and older, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The administration said it will direct its limited remaining resources into a $475 million campaign for community health centers and community-based organizations to increase the pace of vaccinations. 

More than 70,000 locations are offering the updated COVID-19 vaccines, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is aiming to expand to even more locations.

HHS said it will invest $350 million into community health centers, which they can use for “mobile, drive-up, walk-up, or community-based vaccination events, partnerships with community and faith-based organizations for vaccination activities, raising awareness of the updated shot, and more.”

“We’re doubling down on our trusted messengers’ work because we know that makes a difference,” White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said. 

The administration will also invest $125 million for efforts to get more older Americans and people with disabilities vaccinated, including through accessible vaccination clinics, in-home vaccinations, transportation, outreach and education.

In an effort to ensure nursing homes are offering updated COVID-19 vaccines and timely treatment to their residents and staff, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will make clear that nursing homes with low vaccination rates will be referred to state survey agencies “for close scrutiny,” and that facilities that do not comply with the requirement to offer and educate staff on the shot “will face enforcement actions, including the need to submit corrective action plans to achieve compliance.”

The funding for the new campaign push comes as the White House is calling on Congress to include about $10 billion in supplemental funding for COVID-19 response as part of the must-pass government funding bill.

You May Also Like

Beyoncé breaks record for artist with most Grammys in historic ceremony | Grammy awards 2023

Beyoncé has become the most awarded artist in Grammys history during a…

Dave Chappelle Wins for ‘The Closer’ Despite Transgender Backlash

Comedian Dave Chappelle won a Grammy Award Sunday for his comedy album…

Hindi adaption of BBC spy drama The Night Manager airs this month as Indian remakes fly

Several British TV programmes will get a Bollywood makeover after a remake…

Scientists fear Valley Fever is spreading in the US

(NewsNation) — Health officials are concerned that climate change is leading to…

Biden prepares for State of the Union amid China balloon squabble – US politics live | US politics

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Joe Biden is finalizing his state…

Trump documents: Congress offered briefing on records kept at Mar-a-Lago | Donald Trump

US officials have offered a closed-door briefing to congressional leaders about their…

Happy Valley’s Tommy Lee Royce sets himself on FIRE after epic showdown with Sgt Catherine Cawood

Happy Valley fans were left in shock as Tommy Lee Royce set…

Non-Binary Pop Star Sam Smith Performs BDSM, Devil-Themed ‘Unholy’ at the Grammys

Pop star Sam Smith, who describes himself as non-binary, peformed a BDSM…