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After getting COVID-19 booster, Biden to announce new initiatives alongside pharmacy execs

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden will get his updated COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday while calling on more Americans to do so ahead of the winter and holiday season, according to the White House.

When delivering remarks, Biden will be joined by leaders of major U.S. pharmacy chains Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and Albertsons, as well as Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, the president’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and the White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha “to discuss ongoing efforts to mobilize pharmacies to reach more Americans and encourage them to receive their updated COVID-19 vaccine,” according to a White House official.

“The President will again renew his call for all business, educational, and civic leaders to encourage their communities to receive their updated vaccines and keep their communities safe,” the official said in a statement.

More than 20 million Americans, including nearly one in five seniors, have already gotten their updated COVID-19 vaccine. The latest booster shots target two subvariants of the omicron variant, which are versions of the virus that are currently most dominant in the United States and around the world, 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. COVID-19, flu, and other respiratory illnesses spread more quickly in the winter, as people gather indoors,” the White House said in a statement. “As the weather gets colder, Americans must take action to stay protected.”

The Biden administration will also announce several initiatives on Tuesday to encourage Americans to get boosted.

In the coming weeks, Walgreens will team up with DoorDash and Uber “to provide free delivery of prescriptions of Paxlovid, an oral COVID-19 treatment, directly to the doorsteps of Americans living in underserved communities,” the White House said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will launch the #VaxUpAmerica Family Vaccine Tour, with pop-up COVID-19 vaccination events — including at the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship in Arizona next month — and the distribution of tool kits at day cares, nursing homes, community health centers and other locations. The Biden administration will also encourage schools, businesses and other organizations around the country to host their own vaccination events, according to the White House.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will target seniors, with its efforts to reach people via email and telephone to provide information about the updated COVID-19 vaccines and how to get them, according to the White House.

The Biden administration will release a “fall playbook for businesses to manage COVID-19,” the White House said.

Biden, himself, “will call on every school district, college, and university in America to host at least one vaccination clinic by Thanksgiving,” according to the White House.

In addition, he will “call on employers to take actions like offering paid-time-off for vaccination, and working with local vaccine providers to host on-site vaccination clinics for employees,” the White House said.

Meanwhile, Albertsons, CVS, Rite Aid, Southeastern Grocers, Walgreens, Walmart and Sam’s Club have their own initiatives to help Americans get vaccinated.

“We have the tools we need to manage this moment,” the White House added. “For most Americans, if they get this updated COVID-19 vaccine, they can go about their lives this fall and winter with the peace of mind that they remain protected against serious illness. And, if they do get sick, there are widely available and easily accessible treatments that reduce the severity of illness, keep people out of the hospital, and save lives.”

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