COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States will become annual
A new phase of the COVID-19 response has been announced in the United States.
U.S. President Joe Biden issued a statement on new measures approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect against strains of coronavirus BA.5 and BA.4.
“We are launching a new vaccine – our first in nearly two years – with a new approach,” the president said.
“As the virus continues to change, we will now be able to update our vaccines annually to affect the dominant variant. Just like the annual flu shot, you have to get it somewhere between Labor Day and Halloween. It’s safe, it’s easy to get, and it’s free,” Joe Biden explained in a statement.
Beginning this week, tens of thousands of pharmacies, doctors’ offices, community health centers and other specialty locations can make this new COVID-19 vaccine available to Americans ages 12 and older.
The new vaccines will provide the strongest protection against new strains of the COVID Omicron virus that did not exist when the original vaccine was developed.
For most Americans, this means one vaccination against COVID-19 once a year, every fall.
“It’s simple and easy to understand: if you’re vaccinated and over 12 years old, get a new COVID-19 vaccination this fall. Winter isn’t that far away. This once-a-year vaccination can reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, reduce the likelihood of it spreading to others, and greatly reduce the risk of severe COVID-19,” President Joe Biden urged Americans in a statement.
Earlier, U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Beserra said that by the end of this week, 90% of Americans will live within five miles (8 km) of locations where updated vaccines will be provided against the coronavirus strains BA.5 and BA.4, which currently account for 88% and 11% of circulating COVID-19 viruses, respectively, according to the CDC.