US President Joe Biden on Tuesday received his updated Covid booster shot. He also used the occasion to urge more Americans to get the booster shots before the upcoming holiday season.
“I’m calling on all Americans to get their shot just as soon as they can,” Biden said, shortly before a doctor gave him the new shot.
“Get vaccinated,” he said, noting that it’s free. “Not enough people are getting it.”
Only 20 million people in the United States have received an updated Covid booster, and just one in five seniors, the White House said last week.
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The vaccine has been adapted to target the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of omicron, the most dominant strains in the country.
Will Covid shot become an annual event?
Biden called on Congress to provide billions of dollars in additional funding to procure more vaccines. The funding “is critical” in the fight against Covid, he noted.
The US president also stressed the need to put partisan politics aside.
“We can do so much now to reduce the number of people who die from this disease. We have the tools, we have the vaccines, we have the treatments. None of this is about politics. It’s about your health and the health of your loved ones,” he said.
Biden pointed out that over 1 million people in the US have died from Covid so far.
He urged people to get the coronavirus booster at the same time they get their annual flu shot, adding that for many Americans a Covid-19 booster will become an annual event.
“For most Americans, one Covid shot each year will be all they need,” Biden said at the White House. “And if you get it, you’ll be protected. And if you don’t, you’re putting yourself and other people at unnecessary risk.”
Despite the government’s efforts, coronavirus infections have continued, with the country reporting 260,808 new cases a week and 2,566 deaths, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show.
Authorities fear that the spread of the virus could accelerate during the winter months.