November 22, 2022 — White House officials on Friday — again — urged Americans to get their COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots because the latest booster shot has a better immune response to the evolving COVID-19 variants BA.4 and BA.5.
“Recent data that has come out shows that if you are vaccinated and refreshed, compared to an unvaccinated person, there is a 14 times lower risk of dying in the recent BA.4-5 era compared to unvaccinated , and at least three times lower risk of testing positive compared to unvaccinated individuals,” said Anthony Fauci, MD, who stood on the podium at the White House press briefing “one last time” while bidding farewell to reporters on Tuesday .
The doctor and scientist will step down from his position as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden next month.
Fauci did it clear that he is not going to retire, but pursue the “next chapter” of his career. During his more than 5 decades of service to the federal government, he led the fights versus HIV and AIDS, Ebolaand COVID-19alongside other health crises.
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha, MD, joined Fauci on the podium, highlighting the latest developments in COVID-19 vaccination and disease prevention.
On Monday, 12 of America’s leading medical and clinical societies, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians, released a statement with a clear message: Get your updated COVID-19 vaccine and yearly flu shotthis is the best way to save lives this holiday season – especially the lives of older Americans.
Other announcements included a “6-week sprint” to help Americans get their updated COVID shot by the end of December. Three hundred and fifty million dollars in funding will go towards community health centers, mobile vaccination clinics, and faith-based organizations to help with vaccine education and distribution. Add to that $125 million in funding for Aging and disability networks to become more vulnerable and Disabled Americans vaccinated.
Jha also said most Americans need a shot every year to stay safe, similar to getting the flu shot.
“We need to make protecting our loved ones an important part of the conversations we have around the issue Thanksgiving table and an important part of the conversation we’re going to have over the coming days and weeks,” he said.
“If people get their updated vaccines and they get treatment if they have a breakthrough infection, we can essentially prevent every COVID death in America.”
More information on COVID-19 vaccines can be found here here.