WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – White House officials want Americans to get the new version of the COVID-19 vaccine now in order to be protected through the holiday season.
White House COVID-19 Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha explained “this is a new vaccine; this is the first major update since the original vaccines were created two years ago.”
Dr. Jha noted this new, once-a-year shot specifically targets the new variants.
“We’re still seeing thousands of people get admitted to the hospital every day, we’re seeing four to five hundred people dying every day of this virus,” Jha said.
Officials urge Americans ages 12-and-older to get this new vaccine before Halloween in order to have maximum protection through the entire holiday season.
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This applies even if someone has had COVID or any of the previous shots.
“We’re seeing a lot of people get reinfected, we’re seeing a lot of people get breakthrough infections from that original vaccine,” Jha explained.
Democrats are trying to get more than $22 billion in the upcoming short-term government spending bill to continue fighting the virus and keep free shots available.
But Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville says he’s against more spending.
“We’ve got between $150 and $200 billion still left out there for COVID that we’ve already passed. Now, why do we need more money for it? I mean let’s spend the money that we’ve got,” Tuberville (R-AL) said.
The spending bill must be passed by October 1 to avoid a government shutdown.