It’s boosters, boosters, boosters

As the nation enters its second Covid winter, President Joe Biden said his administration will pull out all the stops to fight Covid-19 by focusing on the Delta and Omicron variants—a full court press that will include a plan to make home testing free and mobilizing to get booster shots of approved vaccines in the arms of Americans of almost all ages.

In a statement released on the White House homepage, Biden outlined the main components of the plan:

  • Boosters for all adults.
  • Vaccinations to protect our kids and keep our schools open.
  • Expanding free at-home testing for Americans.
  • Stronger public health protocols for safe international travel.
  • Protections in workplaces to keep our economy open.
  • Rapid response teams to help battle rising cases.
  • Supplying treatment pills to help prevent hospitalizations and death.
  • Continued commitment to global vaccination efforts.
  • Steps to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios.

Of course, the devil is in the details, and one detail that immediately drew attention was the so-called free at-home testing.

As outlined by the administration, this does not mean supplying free tests to any and all who request them. Instead, the plan is that “the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury will issue guidance by January 15th to clarify that individuals who purchase OTC Covid-19 diagnostic tests will be able to seek reimbursement from their group health plan or health insurance issuer and have insurance cover the cost during the public health emergency. Workplace screening would remain consistent with current guidance. Today’s announcement follows the President’s September action directing more than $2 billion to accelerate the production of rapid tests and an additional $1 billion investment in procuring at-home tests… A total of 8 tests are on the market today…”

The administration is also pledging a big push to get the messaging right by rolling out additional town hall meetings and partnering with AARP and other advocacy groups to help carry the message.

And, with an eye on the economy, Biden is carefully avoiding any hint that this aggressive plan will force lock downs, but rather, pledging to keep pushing forward with pandemic recovery.

Peggy Peck, Editor-in-Chief, BreakingMED™

Cat ID: 190

Topic ID: 79,190,933,190,926,138,44,192,927,150,151,463,928,925,934