Friday, January 21

Biden toughens actions against Omicron variant with booster vaccines and restrictions on travelers

President Biden seeks to reduce the impact of the Omicron variant in the United States.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Faced with the first case of contagion in the United States with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, President Joe Biden launches new actions against the pandemic that include the application of booster vaccines and negative test of a maximum day to foreign travelers, in addition to being fully vaccinated.

The White House announced that the actions are part of the strategy with a view to the winter season and a possible increase in infections, but in order to avoid school and business closures.

“The United States has come a long way in fighting the virus and is more prepared than ever to meet the challenges of COVID-19,” stated the Biden Administration. “We have the public health tools we need to continue fighting this virus without closing our schools and businesses.”

The plan includes: booster vaccines for all adults; vaccines to protect children; extension of free trials at home; more stringent public health protocols for international travel; protections in the workplace; rapid response teams to help combat increasing cases; provision of treatment pills to help prevent hospitalizations and deaths; global collaboration for vaccination, and extra steps to address “all scenarios”.

The Biden Administration will ensure that the 100 million Americans eligible for booster vaccines get a dose, noting that those who received Pfizer and Moderna must wait six months after their full immunization, and two months for those who were vaccinated with Johnson and Johnson, he said. a White House official.

“The Biden Administration has made booster shots free and accessible at more than 80,000 locations across the country,” it added. “To date, more than 41 million Americans have already received a booster shot, including half of eligible seniors.”

The actions also seek that more people who have not been vaccinated agree to receive the corresponding doses.

Protection of children and families

President Biden will announce new actions to vaccinate more children ages 5 to 11 and older, noting that 99 percent of schools across the country are fully open.

“Vaccinating our children protects them, keeps schools open and protects everyone around them,” said the official. It was recalled that the White House has made available to parents more than 35,000 sites to vaccinate your children, that includes pharmacies, pediatric offices, children’s hospitals and school clinics, where they receive the corresponding information.

An additional step is the launch of “family vaccination clinics”, so that all members receive the corresponding doses in the same space.

“(They are going to) launch hundreds of family vaccination clinics throughout the country,” it was said. “Vaccines will be offered for the whole family, with the first vaccines for parents, adolescents and children, and boosters for those who are eligible.”

The Biden Administration also notes that Medicaid is being sought to pay health care providers to guide families on vaccinating their children.

International travel

Although it had been announced that international travelers would be quarantined for seven days regardless of their origin and if they were vaccinated, the Biden Administration will only require those who enter the United States. have a negative COVID-19 test with a day before your flight.

“Next week, the United States will strengthen pre-departure testing protocols by requiring all inbound international travelers to test within one day of global departure,” it said.

Asked whether this protocol will be applied to domestic travel, the White House official indicated that this would be evaluated later.

The authorities will also be more demanding in the use of the mask on airplanes, train trips and public transport, such as the Subway and buses. This measure is maintained until March 18.

The fines for failing to comply with this requirement will range from $ 500 to $ 3,000, to repeat offenders.

Actions in jobs

The White House calls on companies to keep weekly testing or vaccination schedules against COVID-19.

“This is especially important given the Omicron variant,” the government indicated.

The measure will help prevent business closures during the winter, the Biden Administration considered.

“60 percent of companies report that they are moving forward with the implementation of a program to ensure that their workers are vaccinated or examined weekly,” it was reported.

Other measures

>> Ensure the distribution of antivirals that have helped reduce COVID-19 symptoms.
>> Maintain vaccination efforts globally with the COVAX program.
>> Reinforce the team and resources with direct actions in the states.
>> New contingency plans for the Ómicron variant in coordination with vaccine producers.

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