Biden urges Americans to prepare for new variants of Covid

US President Joe Biden has urged Americans to prepare for new coronavirus variants as he launches a new initiative to help those infected with Covid-19 get tested at a nearby pharmacy and receive free antiviral pills on the spot.

In his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, Biden said that thanks to the progress the country has made over the past year, Covid-19 no longer needs to control the lives of Americans.

“We have to prepare for new variants. Over the past year, we’ve gotten a lot better at detecting new variants. If needed, we can roll out new vaccines in 100 days instead of several additional months or years,” Biden told pandemic-weary Americans.

“And, if Congress provides the funds we need, we will have new supplies of tests, masks and pills ready if needed. I can’t promise that a new variant won’t come. But I can promise you that we will do everything in our power to be ready if that happens,” he said.

“I know some talk about ‘living with Covid-19’. Tonight – I say we will never accept living with Covid-19,” he added.

The president said the United States will continue to fight the virus, like other diseases, and “stay on guard” because it is a virus that mutates and spreads.

He listed four steps to move forward safely.

The United States is the country most affected by the deadly pandemic which was first reported in the central city of Wuhan in China in late December 2019. The United States has reported more than 79,088,500 confirmed cases and more than 952,600 COVID-related deaths, according to the latest statistics. from Johns Hopkins University.

“First, stay protected with vaccines and treatments. We know how incredibly effective vaccines are. If you are vaccinated and boosted, you have the highest level of protection. “Americans. Now I know that parents of children under 5 are eager to see a vaccine licensed for their children,” he said.

“Scientists are working hard to achieve this and we will be ready with a lot of vaccines when they do. We are also ready with antiviral treatments. If you catch Covid-19, the Pfizer pill reduces your chances of ending up in hospital by 90%,” he said.

Biden said his administration has ordered more of those pills than anyone else in the world, saying Pfizer is working overtime to get 1 million pills in the United States this month and more than double that next month.

He said the United States was launching a “Test to Treat” initiative so people could get tested at a pharmacy and, if positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot at no cost.

“If you are immunocompromised or have another vulnerability, we have high quality free treatments and masks. We don’t leave anyone behind or ignore anyone’s needs as we move forward. And on testing, we have made hundreds of millions of tests available for you to order for free,” he said.

A White House official told reporters that, as the president pointed out in his State of the Union address, the administration has been working with Pfizer to expedite delivery of its antiviral pills that reduce 90 % the chances of being hospitalized with Covid-19.

“In March we will have a million pills available and we will have more than double that in April. As the supply continues to increase, it is important that those who test positive can be treated quickly and easily,” the official said.

To that end, President Biden announced the launch of a nationwide “Test to Treat initiative” to minimize the time between a positive test result and receipt of effective Covid-19 treatment, including antiviral pills and monoclonal antibodies. Under the program, people can get tested at local pharmacies and community health centers and receive antiviral pills on site, the official said.

“The administration will launch these one-stop shops this month, with hundreds of locations open across the country, including at pharmacy clinics in places like CVS, Walgreens and Kroger. The administration will continue to develop the program over time,” the official said.

The initiative will also include new actions to educate the public about the availability of new treatments and the importance of starting them soon after symptoms appear; inform healthcare professionals about these new treatments; and distribute antiviral pills directly to long-term care facilities.

Additionally, as part of his efforts to expand access to free at-home testing, the President announced that beginning next week, households who have already ordered tests through can place an order for four additional tests to be delivered. for free at home.

This program has already provided more than 270 million free tests to more than 68 million homes in America – with most tests delivered by the USPS within 48 hours of shipment, the official said.

Published on

March 02, 2022

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