Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
Americans should get COVID-19 booster shots by Halloween to prepare the country best for the upcoming holiday season, the White House said this week.
Just 11.5 million eligible Americans have received the updated shots, which were designed to provide extra protection against the original coronavirus and the dominant BA.5 variant, said Ashish Jha, MD, the White House COVID-19 coordinator.
“We could save hundreds of lives each day this winter” if more people would get the shots, Jha said, according to the Associated Press.
Boosters by Halloween would give the country maximum coverage in time for Thanksgiving and help prevent a “challenging” virus season, he said.
Available vaccines and treatments could essentially wipe out serious illness and death from the virus if enough people act.
“We are not helpless against these challenges,” he said. “What happens this winter is up to us.”
People should get protected before spending time with family and friends over the holidays, he said. And more and more people will be doing so in the coming weeks as they also get their annual flu shots.
More than 330 people die on average every day because of COVID-19, the CDC says. More than 1.05 million have died from the disease.
The Associated Press: “White House: Get new booster by Halloween for safer holidays”