White House To Launch New Push For Booster Shots

The Associated Press reports:

President Joe Biden is set to kick off a more urgent campaign for Americans to get COVID-19 booster shots Thursday as he unveils his winter plans for combating the coronavirus and its omicron variant with enhanced availability of shots and vaccines but without major new restrictions.

The plan includes a requirement for private insurers to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests and a tightening of testing requirements for people entering the U.S. regardless of their vaccination status.

But as some other nations close their borders or reimpose lockdowns, officials said Biden was not moving to impose additional restrictions beyond his recommendation that Americans wear masks indoors in public settings.

The Washington Post reports:

The federal health department will launch new ads and events, focused on seniors, to encourage all adult Americans to get booster shots as soon as they are eligible. The government also will partner with AARP, the advocacy group for older Americans, to convene booster-focused town halls, offer rides to vaccination sites and pursue other strategies to boost uptake.

Meanwhile, the federal health department will send a notice to the approximately 63 million people covered by the Medicare program, offering instructions and encouragement on how to get boosters.

Medicaid, the safety net health insurance program, also will reimburse participating health-care providers for “COVID-19 counseling visits,” where health workers answer families’ questions about vaccines and stress the importance of getting children immunized.