White House ramps up efforts to promote omicron booster

President Joe Biden will receive his updated omicron COVID-19 booster Oct. 25 and launch several efforts aimed at getting more Americans to do so ahead of the holiday season, according to the White House. 

"While COVID-19 is not the disruptive force it was when the president took office, the virus continues to evolve," the White House said in a statement. "COVID-19, flu and other respiratory illnesses spread more quickly in the winter as people gather indoors. As the weather gets colder, Americans must take action to stay protected." 

More than 20 million Americans — including nearly 1 in 5 older adults — have received the omicron booster since the rollout began in September, according to the White House. 

Here are actions the administration is taking to promote the updated shots: 

  • HHS will launch the #VaxUpAmerica Family Vaccine Tour, which involves pop-up vaccination events in regions with lower vaccine uptake. A pop-up clinic will be hosted in November at the NASCAR Cup Series championship in Arizona. 

 

  • CMS will double down on efforts to reach older adults and send an email reminder to 16 million people with information on the updated shots and how to get them.

 

  • The president will call on "every school district, college, and university in America to host at least one vaccination clinic by Thanksgiving," the White House said. The Biden administration is also urging employers to offer paid time off for vaccination and host on-site clinics by working with local vaccine providers. 

 

  • The White House is urging the nation's largest federal pharmacy partners —  including CVS and Walgreens — to extend its efforts to promote the vaccine through texts, calls and emails to customers, as well as through marketing campaigns and incentives, such as offering a discount on purchases after getting the shot. 
 

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