U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Friday his intention to seek additional funds from Congress for the development of a new coronavirus vaccine. He suggested that everyone might need to take this vaccine, regardless of their prior vaccination status.
Speaking from his vacation spot in Lake Tahoe, President Biden told journalists, “I approved a proposal this morning to present to Congress, asking for more funding for a necessary and effective new vaccine.”
There’s a tentative recommendation for everyone to receive this vaccine once it’s out of the research phase and available to the public.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has mentioned the potential need for Americans to receive booster shots to ensure continued protection against the coronavirus.
The White House had previously made a $40 million funding request to Congress on August 11, which did not specify funds for coronavirus but did include allocations for Ukraine.
Last year, the Biden administration had asked for $9.25 billion in funding to combat the virus, but Congress did not approve this request.
The Associated Press reported that the upcoming vaccine might target a variant of the omicron strain known as XBB.1.5. This would differ from the current vaccines, which combine the original coronavirus strain with the previously predominant omicron variants.
Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are developing updated vaccines to address the XBB variant.
The introduction of this new booster campaign comes almost one year after President Biden announced in September 2022 that the coronavirus pandemic was “over.” However, he also acknowledged the ongoing efforts against the virus.
In the past, President Biden encouraged Americans to receive coronavirus vaccine boosters, suggesting an annual booster shot. He stated in a previous address, “For those fully vaccinated, one additional COVID shot per year. That’s the recommendation.”
President Biden has been public about his vaccination journey, receiving his fifth vaccine dose on live television, despite having recovered from a bout of the virus in July.
As of the week concluding on July 29, there were 9,056 hospital admissions due to COVID-19. This report marks a roughly 12 percent rise from the figures of the preceding week. However, these numbers are significantly lower than the past highs, such as the 44,000 admissions in early January, nearly 45,000 in the latter part of July 2022, or the staggering 150,000 during the omicron outbreak in January 2022.