cloudy.png
Saturday December 3rd, 2022 2:00PM

White House: How about a COVID-19 boost with that flu shot?

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration hopes to make getting a COVID-19 booster as routine as going in for the yearly flu shot.

That’s at the heart of its campaign to sell the newly authorized shot to an American public that has widely rejected COVID-19 boosters since they first became available last fall.

Shots of the updated boosters, specifically designed by Pfizer and Moderna to respond to the omicron strain, could begin within days. U.S. health advisers recommended today that most Americans get the modified doses and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to adopt those recommendations. The U.S. government has already begun shipping some of the 170 million shots it purchased and is emphasizing that everyone will have free access to the booster.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said this latest round of shots will offer protection during the busy cold and flu season, with the hope of transitioning people to get the vaccine yearly. Typically, at least half of U.S. adults get a flu shot.

“We expect them to provide more durable protection over time,” Jha said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. “The goal very much is to get to a point where people get their COVID shot on a regular basis, the way they do their flu shot.”

Community health workers in North Carolina, home to the country’s lowest COVID-19 booster rate, like the strategy, especially because of confusion among some people about vaccine schedules.

“I believe in keeping things simple,” said Marty Stamey, an outreach coordinator for the Mountain Area Health Education Center in western North Carolina. “I’ve heard a lot of people say, ‘I think I’ll just wait and try to do it like the flu shots.’”

The White House plan also relies in part on local health departments, providers and community groups to reach out and encourage people to get the updated booster. Pharmacies, health providers and state or local health departments are preparing to send text messages to millions of people that will encourage them to get a booster this fall, White House officials said.

Jha said he recommends most Americans get the booster by the end of October.

Still, this latest vaccination campaign faces several challenges.

A majority of Americans got their first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine when it was released last year but they’ve been more reluctant to get a booster jab, with less than half getting their first booster since it became available late last year.

Congress also has not moved forward on President Joe Biden’s $22.5 billion request earlier this year for the COVID-19 response. Republicans criticized the request, pointing to the $1.9 trillion already spent on responding to the pandemic. Running short on funds, the government announced it would stop shipping COVID-19 tests to people’s homes after Friday.

And COVID-19 funding is drying up for many of the community groups that received millions of federal tax dollars to hire workers who spent months reaching deep into neighborhoods with door knocks, mobile vaccine clinics and posters encouraging people to inoculate against COVID-19.

White House officials say those local leaders deserve a lot of credit for stamping out misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and convincing many around the country that the shot will protect them.

“Those are the really critical messengers,” Jha said.

That on-the-ground work has been crucial to getting people vaccinated in the rural, Spanish- and Haitian-speaking communities that the Migrant Clinicians Network has reached throughout Texas, California and Maryland with its $8.5 million federal grant.

“Simply having the vaccines available is one thing, but getting the shots in the arms is another,” said Amy Liebman, a chief program officer for the nonprofit group.

Some of those local health organizations, too, are now stretched as they work to get low vaccination rates among children under 12 up. Only a third of 5- to 11-year-olds received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since becoming eligible late last year. Meanwhile, just 7% of children under 5 have gotten a first dose since it was made available this summer.

Dr. Niharika Khanna at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has just started making progress on convincing new mothers that the vaccine is safe and effective for their babies.

Her program, which has hired more than 269 health workers and administered more than 12,000 vaccinations and boosters across Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, isn’t quite ready to transition back to pushing COVID-19 boosters.

“All of these people, all of these relationships we’ve carefully cultivated are at risk for falling apart,” Khanna said. “Today if you were to say to me switch to booster, I’d say no. I need another two to three weeks to really get these people going.”

___

AP White House Correspondent Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health, AP Health - Children's Health, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
White House: How about a COVID-19 boost with that flu shot?
The Biden administration hopes to make getting a COVID-19 booster as routine as going in for the yearly flu shot
3:00PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Trump documents: No immediate ruling on outside legal expert
A federal judge has heard arguments on whether to appoint an outside legal expert to review government records seized by the FBI last month in a search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home
2:58PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Firefighters battle California wildfires amid searing heat
Firefighters working in a scorching heat wave have made some progress in battles against two rural California wildfires
2:49PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
To China’s fury, UN accuses Beijing of Uyghur rights abuses
The U.N. accused China of serious human rights violations that may amount to “crimes against humanity” in a long-delayed report examining a crackdown on Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups
1:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
Ginni Thomas emails urged new 2020 electors in Wisconsin
The wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas contacted at least two Wisconsin state lawmakers urging them to overturn President Joe Biden’s win in 2020 in the tightly contested state
1:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
Putin pays tribute to Gorbachev but won't attend his funeral
Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid tribute to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev but will not attend the weekend funeral, a decision reflecting the Kremlin’s ambivalence about Gorbachev’s legacy
1:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Judge again denies Graham's effort to skirt Georgia subpoena
A federal judge has ruled constitutional protections don’t shield U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham from testifying before a special grand jury investigating possible illegal efforts to overturn then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia
1:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
Lawyers in Trump White House to appear before 1/6 grand jury
The White House counsel under former President Donald Trump and his top deputy are set to appear before a federal grand jury investigating efforts to undo the 2020 presidential election
12:43PM ( 2 hours ago )
Mexico president proposes reforms to National Guard
Mexico’s National Guard, created as a nominal civilian force in 2019, would be transferred completely to the authority of the country’s military
12:10PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Waterborne diseases spread among flood victims in Pakistan
Pakistani health officials are reporting an outbreak of waterborne diseases in the flood-affected areas
12:43PM ( 2 hours ago )
EU regulator clears tweaked versions of COVID vaccines
The European Medicines Agency has recommended the authorization of two coronavirus vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Inc., tweaked to include protection against an early version of the omicron variant
9:08AM ( 6 hours ago )
China locks down 21 million in Chengdu in COVID-19 outbreak
About 21 million people have been ordered to stay home in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu following a spike in COVID-19 cases
6:20AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Health
Missouri school district reinstates corporal punishment
A southwest Missouri school district says it will allow students to be spanked if parents give their permission
3:42PM ( 5 days ago )
Court: Arkansas can't ban treatment of transgender kids
A federal appeals court has agreed with a judge's ruling preventing the state from enforcing a ban on transgender children receiving gender-affirming medical care
5:38PM ( 6 days ago )
Pfizer COVID shots appear 73% effective in children under 5
Pfizer’s says its COVID-19 vaccine was 73% effective in protecting children younger than 5 as omicron spread in the spring
1:08PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Health - Children's Health
Fed is hoping August hiring report will show slowdown
Raging inflation has so scrambled the economy that it’s come to this: If Friday’s jobs report for August were to show a significant hiring slowdown, the Federal Reserve — and even the White House — would likely welcome it
12:51PM ( 2 hours ago )
Australia, France deepen defense ties after breakdown
Australia and France are drawing up plans to strengthen their defense cooperation as the two countries try to heal wounds from last year's diplomatic breakdown over a secret submarine contract that infuriated France
11:03AM ( 4 hours ago )
UK's Johnson pledges millions to fund new nuclear plant
Britain’s outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged 700 million pounds ($810 million) of government funding for a new nuclear power plant
10:10AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business
Ginni Thomas emails urged new 2020 electors in Wisconsin
The wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas contacted at least two Wisconsin state lawmakers urging them to overturn President Joe Biden’s win in 2020 in the tightly contested state
3:10PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Trump documents: No immediate ruling on outside legal expert
A federal judge has heard arguments on whether to appoint an outside legal expert to review government records seized by the FBI last month in a search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home
2:58PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Firefighters battle California wildfires amid searing heat
Firefighters working in a scorching heat wave have made some progress in battles against two rural California wildfires
2:49PM ( 23 minutes ago )
GOP candidates soften tone on abortion for midterm election
Strict, anti-abortion Republicans running in competitive House, Senate and governor’s races in key battleground states are trying to distance themselves from their past statements and positions
2:35PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Brooksby ousts No. 25 Coric in 2nd round | US Open updates
American Jenson Brooksby earned a spot in the third round by upsetting No. 25 seed Borna Coric 6-4, 7-6 (10), 6-1
2:33PM ( 39 minutes ago )