FACT SHEET: President Biden to Announce Additional Efforts to Help Americans Get Their Free, Updated COVID-19 Vaccine This Fall
President Biden to Call on All Americans to Get Their Free, Updated COVID-19 Vaccine and Do Their Part to Ensure a Safe and Healthy Winter
Today, President Biden will announce additional efforts to get Americans their updated COVID-19 vaccine, so that they have the protection they need heading into Thanksgiving and can have a safe and healthy holiday season. Over 20 million Americans, including nearly one in five seniors, have already rolled up their sleeves to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine, and the President will encourage more Americans to do so right away. The President will get his updated COVID-19 vaccine, and call on everyone—including state, local, education, and business leaders—to do their part to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.
While COVID-19 is not the disruptive force it was when the President took office, the virus continues to evolve. COVID-19, flu, and other respiratory illnesses spread more quickly in the winter, as people gather indoors. As the weather gets colder, Americans must take action to stay protected.
We have the tools we need to manage this moment. The updated vaccines target the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron – the versions of the virus that are most dominant in the U.S. and around the world. For most Americans, if they get this updated COVID-19 vaccine, they can go about their lives this fall and winter with the peace of mind that they remain protected against serious illness. And, if they do get sick, there are widely available and easily accessible treatments that reduce the severity of illness, keep people out of the hospital, and save lives.
Today, the President will announce the following actions:
- Reaching high-risk Americans, including seniors, through targeted education and engagement efforts:
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching new national and local TV, radio and print ads geared at reaching Black and Latino audiences in more than 30 markets in English and Spanish. New football and country music-themed radio ads geared at reaching rural communities will run in 15 local markets. New print, radio, digital, and social ads will run in 25 markets to reach Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander audiences in seven languages. And, new social and digital ads will run on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Reddit. The ads highlight the importance of getting the updated vaccine to protect the ones we love and the protection the updated COVID-19 vaccines offer against Omicron.
- HHS will launch the #VaxUpAmerica Family Vaccine Tour, a new push to encourage families to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine for maximum protection going into the winter and holiday season. As part of this tour, HHS will work with national and community-based organizations and others to reach families where they are with information on COVID-19 vaccines, and will host pop-up vaccination events and distribute toolkits at venues such as Head Start provider locations, nursing homes, and community health centers around the country. HHS will launch this tour on October 26 with a virtual event featuring Administration officials and others to share information and encourage schools, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, employers and others to host their own vaccination events. And, HHS will continue to ramp up community outreach efforts to bring pop-up clinics to regions with lower vaccine uptake, including a pop-up vaccination clinic with Healthy Trucking of America at the NASCAR Cup Series Championship in Arizona.
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is doubling down on its efforts to reach older Americans. In the next week, Medicare will send a second email reminder to the 16 million people who have signed up to receive Medicare emails with information about the updated COVID-19 vaccines and how to get them. CMS has also added a message on the updated COVID-19 vaccines and the availability of effective treatments to the 1-800-MEDICARE line. During this year's Medicare Open Enrollment period, CMS expects to reach about 5 million people through these messages. CMS will also reemphasize the importance of updated vaccines and available treatments to Medicare Advantage plans and urge them to ensure their members have the information they need to protect themselves and their families.
- Calling on education and business leaders to do their part to get Americans their updated COVID-19 vaccine and manage COVID-19 this fall and winter: Because of the work of leaders from across different sectors of society, over 225 million Americans have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccinations. Today, the President will call on employers and school leaders to once again do their part to get their communities protected, including by helping people get their updated COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the winter. The President will call on every school district, college, and university in America to host at least one vaccination clinic by Thanksgiving. He will also call on employers to take actions like offering paid-time-off for vaccination, and working with local vaccine providers to host on-site vaccination clinics for employees.
- Fall Playbook for Businesses to Manage COVID-19: The Administration is releasing a fall playbook for businesses, with clear information about steps that businesses of all kinds can take to protect their workforces and customers and to keep their doors open—including actions they can take to get workers their updated COVID-19 vaccine, raise employee awareness about COVID-19 treatments, and improve indoor air quality in their buildings.
- Walgreens, Uber, and DoorDash: Walgreens, Uber, and DoorDash are stepping up to answer the President's call to action by increasing access to COVID-19 treatments. Walgreens is working with Uber and DoorDash to provide free delivery of prescriptions of Paxlovid, an oral COVID-19 treatment, directly to the doorsteps of Americans living in underserved communities. Patients with a prescription for Paxlovid being filled at Walgreens who live in a socially vulnerable community, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index, will be able to have their Paxlovid prescription delivered to their home through Uber Health and DoorDash at no cost via Walgreens.com and the Walgreens app. The initiative will formally launch in the coming weeks.
- Reaching out to Americans and making it even easier to get vaccinated through their local pharmacy: The President will call on the nation's pharmacies to double down on efforts to get Americans their updated COVID-19 vaccines this fall. The federal pharmacy vaccination program, which the Administration launched in February 2021, now includes over 40,000 local pharmacies across the country, and is responsible for more than 270 million shots in arms to date, including roughly three out of four updated COVID-19 vaccines administered. The largest federal pharmacy partners are encouraging people to get their updated COVID-19 vaccines through tens of millions of texts, calls, and emails to customers, multimedia marketing campaigns, and a range of incentives. Federal pharmacy partners are offering walk-in vaccinations and extended hours, including at nights and on weekends. And, they are working with employers, schools, nursing homes and other community organizations to meet people where they are and advance vaccine equity. These steps will ensure Americans can get the protection they need heading into the winter at trusted, convenient locations.
- Albertsons: All 1,722 Albertsons grocery store pharmacies are offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations, including on evenings and weekends. Albertsons is also offering 10 percent off groceries (up to $20 off) for people who get their COVID-19 vaccine in-store. Albertsons has already sent 1.6 million text messages and nearly 17 million emails encouraging people to get an COVID-19 vaccine, and will soon launch a "Not Too Late" marketing campaign to urge people to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, Albertsons is engaging employers, schools, long-term care facilities, and other community partners to offer both flu and COVID-19 vaccines where people are, with over 3,000 clinics hosted and/or scheduled since September 1 through October 23.
- CVS Health: CVS has launched a scheduling tool that automatically prompts individuals making an appointment for either a flu vaccine or an updated COVID-19 vaccine to consider getting both at the same time. CVS has already sent more than 50 million texts this fall to encourage consumers to get both their updated COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot, with tens of millions more texts planned between now and Thanksgiving. Building on its national TV ad campaign on the importance of flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, CVS is investing in additional paid media through the end of December, and is offering $5 off any purchase of $20 (redeemable in-store or online) for consumers getting an updated COVID-19 shot.
- Rite Aid: Rite Aid is holding Family Immunization Days at more than 350 Rite Aid and Bartell Drugs locations to promote immunization and provide families with the convenience of getting vaccinated together after school and work, including with walk-in availability – with the next one scheduled on October 26 at Bartell Drugs locations. Rite Aid has already sent millions of text alerts to customers about scheduling an updated COVID-19 and a flu vaccine, with more planned. Rite Aid has also scheduled thousands of COVID-19 vaccination clinics in workplaces, schools, colleges and universities, community centers, senior centers, churches, and casinos. And, beginning later this week, Rite Aid will offer coupons for $5 off $25 purchase for those who receive a COVID-19 updated booster (not valid in New York or New Jersey).
- Southeastern Grocers: Southeastern Grocers (SEG), parent company of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores serving communities throughout the five southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, is offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations at all of its pharmacy locations, and working with school systems and employers to provide convenient COVID-19 vaccines at on-site vaccination clinics. SEG has also sent text and email reminders to customers, and offers $20 in free groceries when an individual gets their updated COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot at the same time.
- Walmart and Sam's Club: More than 5,000 Walmart and Sam's Club locations offer updated COVID-19 vaccines seven days a week, including through walk-ins. In addition to sending millions of text reminders to consumers, Walmart also encourages shoppers to get their updated COVID-19 vaccines and the flu shot through audio messages that play in-store three to four times every hour, as well as through prominent signage on the updated COVID-19 vaccine. And, any individual who receives the flu shot at Walmart or Sam's Club is encouraged to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine at the same time.
- Walgreens: Walgreens has held over 1,000 vaccination clinics offering updated COVID-19 vaccines at churches, community centers, businesses, schools, and long-term care facilities, with hundreds more planned in the coming months. Walgreens is also working with trusted community influencers to drive awareness around the importance of getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot for the fall and winter. And, Walgreens is investing millions of dollars in paid media and direct outreach to encourage vaccinations across Black and Hispanic communities between now and the end of the year.
Joseph R. Biden, FACT SHEET: President Biden to Announce Additional Efforts to Help Americans Get Their Free, Updated COVID-19 Vaccine This Fall Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/358521