Biden Administration Seeks Additional Funds for New Vaccine

President Biden has announced his intention to request additional funding from Congress for the development of a new COVID-19 vaccine, as well as considering the possibility of making the vaccine mandatory for all, regardless of previous vaccination status. Speaking from his vacation spot in the Lake Tahoe area, the President addressed concerns about the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the emergence of a new variant.

“We have signed off this morning on a proposal to present to Congress, seeking additional funding for a necessary and effective new vaccine,” President Biden stated. He went on to suggest that the upcoming vaccine might be recommended for everyone, irrespective of their vaccination history.

However, the funding request made by the White House on August 11, amounting to $40 million, did not explicitly mention coronavirus funding. Instead, it included allocations for various purposes such as supporting Ukraine, federal disaster funds, and strengthening border enforcement to counter the influx of fentanyl across the U.S.-Mexico border.

This potential funding request follows a prior appeal by the Biden administration in 2022, where they sought $9.25 billion to combat the virus. Regrettably, this request was met with resistance from congressional lawmakers.

According to sources, health officials are preparing for an updated COVID-19 vaccine variant known as XBB.1.5, focusing on the omicron strain. This vaccine will mark a departure from the current combination shots, which combine the original coronavirus strain with last year’s prevalent omicron variants.

Given the virus’s ongoing mutation, the necessity for continuous vaccine updates remains apparent. Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are currently in the process of developing doses of the XBB update, with distribution expected to begin next month. However, the rollout is contingent on the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The proposal for a new booster program arrives nearly a year after President Biden’s declaration that the COVID-19 pandemic was “over” in September 2022, despite acknowledging that considerable efforts were still being devoted to the situation.

As the nation navigates the evolving landscape of the pandemic, President Biden’s call for additional funding and the potential expansion of vaccine recommendations underscore the ongoing challenges posed by the virus. With the upcoming annual fall COVID-19 shot, hopes are set on the continued collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, regulatory bodies, and healthcare institutions to address the persistently changing nature of the virus.

Fox News