Science

Biden administration procrastination

The Biden administration is launching a new ad campaign to promote the updated bipartisan COVID-19 Vaccines, in hopes of speeding up a booster campaign that has stalled nationwide.

“It’s a new day, because COVID vaccines just got a big update,” said one storyteller at the beginning of a spot titled “Just in Time.”


Just in Time: Updated COVID-19 Vaccines – :30 By
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Youtube

Federal health officials have prepared to air commercials on television, starting with commercial breaks during the ABC shows “Good Morning America” ​​and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” A radio spot on “Big Update” will also air from October 17.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did not respond to a request for comment on how much the television spots would cost. White House COVID-19 official Dr. Cameron Webb said HHS was able to “shuffle around a few dollars” to put together a campaign for the fall.

Print ads targeting Native American and rural communities will also appear in newspapers in 18 cities, ranging from Albuquerque in New Mexico to Bangor in Maine.

Sarah Lowenheim, assistant secretary of public affairs for HHS, said: “The new spots airing today send a powerful message about the importance of getting an updated vaccine ahead of the holidays, especially for people 50 and older. For those who are at risk of hospitalization.” , said in a statement.

The ad campaign marks a new front in the Biden administration’s messaging around the shots. Last month a series of ads focused only on the serious risks posed by the virus to Americans age 50 and older.

An official said that other advertisements with similar messages are also being targeted on these older adults on social media. The administration has directed efforts to send its message to older and “hard-to-reach” communities, citing limited resources for their vaccination efforts.

CDC recommends that all Americans age 5 and over To stay “up to date” on your vaccinations, receive one of the retooled boosters at least two months after your last shot of vaccine.

The agency says people who have recently had COVID-19 may consider waiting three months after becoming ill.

“Updated vaccines can protect against both the original COVID virus and the omicron. And this is a moment we’ve all been waiting for,” says one narrator in the new location.

a halloween deadline

new push comes a halloween deadline by which health officials are urging Americans to get updated COVID boosters earlier than widely expected virus winter wavewith them annual flu shots,

“We saw an increase in infections last winter and thanks to the vaccines we have today, it doesn’t have to be that way,” Lowenheim said.

COVID vaccination was initially accelerated in the wake of the first updated booster being greenlighted in early September. However, federal data last week showed new vaccinations were starting to move. Slow once again across the country,

So far, more than 14.7 million doses of updated COVID boosters from Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna have been administered, according to weekly data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Thursday.

This represents about 7% of the 209 million vaccinated Americans who were initially eligible for the updated COVID booster shots.

By comparison, 27 million adults received an annual flu shot as of October 9 last year, according to estimates published by the CDC from health care data firm IQVIA. By last Halloween, 46 million were vaccinated against the flu.

Polls suggest that low awareness of new COVID shots could result in some variation in uptake.

Several Americans had said they would be willing to redesign a booster to target the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants, according to federal surveys before rolling them out.

However, results published by the Kaiser Family Foundation last month found that more than half of vaccinated adults had heard little or nothing about updates to COVID boosters, and 40% were unsure if they were recommended to get the shot. Was.

White House officials have condemned Congress for failing to adequately fund his vaccinations this fall. A request for COVID funding has been lying on Capitol Hill for months.

“We didn’t get extra funding from Congress. It made it really hard for us to continue a really broad public education effort, getting parents and families information about vaccines,” Webb told one recent webinar Hosted by CDC Foundation.

Webb said the federal Department of Health and Human Services was able to “shuffle around a few dollars” to put together a campaign for the fall.

He acknowledged, however, that the Biden administration’s public access to boosters will have to rely largely on efforts from local doctors and health departments to promote the shots.

“It’s going to give some room for that conversation. But really, there’s going to be a need for local trusted messengers on the ground to take those conversations and run with it,” Webb said.

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