Biden warns all Americans may not have access to free COVID-19 vaccines in fall if Congress doesn’t pass funding
The U.S. may not have enough of the COVID-19 vaccine necessary to allow all Americans access to a free fourth shot come this fall, according to President Joe Biden.
Biden has assured the country there is enough COVID-19 vaccine available for individuals aged 50 or older to get their fourth dose, however, reports CNBC.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved those aged 50 or older to receive a fourth vaccination shot, on Tuesday.
Biden’s warning comes as Congress mulls over an additional $22.5 billion in government funding his administration as requested go towards ensuring free and easy access to COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Americans are back to living their lives again,” Biden said. “We can’t surrender that. Congress please act. You have to act immediately. The consequences of inaction are severe, they will only grow with time.”
New infections of COVID-19 and hospitalizations have dipped by more than 90% since they both peaked in January amidst a wave caused by the omicron variant.
A new omicron subvariant, BA.2, is currently the dominant strain in the U.S., and is said to be more contagious than its predecessor.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor, has cautioned that the BA.2 variant is likely to cause a rise of infections in the country, however he does expect another major surge to take place at this time.
Other experts warn that another surge of COVID-19 infections could occur during the fall, when immunity from the vaccine begins to decrease and people start staying indoors due to an increase in cold weather, according to CNBC.
There has so far been an inability to reach bipartisan support for COVID-19 funding in Congress, with Democrats and Republicans in disagreement over where to get the money from.
Biden also announced the creation of a new government website, covid.gov, which will give Americans more information on where to purchase masks, vaccines, tests, and treatments.