Biden reveals plan to ‘vaccinate the world’
President Joe Biden has vowed to not force the nation into yet another lockdown as the new Covid-19 strain spreads. Apart from encouraging vaccination at home, Biden said the US “must vaccinate the world.”
Biden outlined his coronavirus policy for the upcoming months in an op-ed published in USA Today on Thursday. In the piece, the president said that the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, which has already spilled over to the US, “is a cause of concern,” but not “for panic.”
In an apparent bid to alleviate fears that the new strain could bring economic recovery to a grinding halt, Biden claimed that he was not considering any sweeping restrictions.
“We are going to fight Covid-19 not with shutdowns or lockdowns – but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more,” he wrote. Some of these measures will see vaccination times extended into nights and weekends and more walk-in vaccination sites open.
Americans can expect to be spammed by pharmacies who will be “spreading the word” about the availability of vaccines, sending “millions of texts and emails to remind their customers.” The administration, in the meantime, will reach out to the 60 million Americans on Medicare, Biden revealed.
As part of his plan to keep schools open, Biden said the government would step up its vaccination campaign targeting children as young as five, as well as opening “hundreds of new family vaccination clinics.” The president also said he would require private insurers to cover the cost of at-home rapid tests, noting that the tests would be readily available for free at “thousands of sites nationwide” for those who lack insurance.
While urging all eligible Americans to receive boosters, Biden stated that mass vaccination of the US population alone would not solve the problem, arguing that the US should help other countries to get their populations inoculated.
“We must vaccinate the world and strengthen international travel rules for people coming into the US,” Biden said, adding that the US plans to ship 200 million doses within the next 100 days, in addition to the 280 million vaccines it has already sent.
As for those who have already been infected with the virus, Biden said his administration is working to increase “the availability of new medicines, including monoclonal antibody treatments,” as well as antiviral pills, when authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.