President Joe Biden spoke out against misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccination mandates, encouraging the approximately 66 million unvaccinated Americans to get a shot.
“School board members, religious leaders and doctors across the country are fighting misinformation and educating people about the importance of vaccines,” Biden said.
Speaking at the White House, Biden says employer requirements that their workers be vaccinated are effective. He added: “Vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us.”
Biden has issued a federal vaccine mandate on businesses with 100 or more employees that will be implemented in the coming weeks. He says the federal government, as well as businesses and community groups, must “continue to battle the misinformation that’s out there.”
He noted both Southwest Airlines and its pilots’ union dismissed claims that worker action over a pending vaccine mandate at the company was responsible for days of disruption at the airline.
Meanwhile, U.S. health advisers said Thursday that some Americans who received Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago should get a half-dose booster to rev up protection against the coronavirus.
The panel of outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend a booster shot for seniors, as well as younger adults with other health problems, jobs or living situations that put them at increased risk from COVID-19.
Many people who got their initial Pfizer shots at least six months ago are already getting a booster after the FDA authorized their use last month — and those are the same high-risk groups that FDA’s advisers said should get a Moderna booster.
As for the dose, initial Moderna vaccination consists of two 100-microgram shots. But Moderna says a single 50-microgram shot should be enough for a booster.
The agency convened its experts to weigh in on who should get boosters and when for those who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots earlier this year. The panel will discuss J&J on Friday.
The FDA will use its advisers’ recommendations in making final decisions for boosters from both companies. Assuming a positive decision, there’s still another hurdle: Next week, a panel convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will offer more specifics on who should get one.