(NewsNation Now) – President Joe Biden will address the country’s response to the coronavirus on Thursday, where he is expected to address the debate over his broad vaccination mandates and the potential approval of booster injections.
The Biden administration’s vaccination mandate would require employers of 100 or more workers to require coronavirus vaccinations or institute weekly virus tests. The mandate elicited negative reactions from governors and employers.
Biden had ruled out such demands before taking office in January, but said he felt compelled to implement them because much of the public refused to be vaccinated and endangered the lives of others and the country’s economic recovery.
“There is no other way to beat the pandemic than to immunize the vast majority of the American people,” Biden said at an event promoting the Mandates last week. “Although I didn’t run to do it right away, that’s why I had to move up to the requirements.”
President Biden is expected to provide an update on the country’s coronavirus response and vaccination efforts on Thursday morning. NewsNation will broadcast their remarks live in the above player.
In the coming weeks, more than 100 million Americans will be subject to the vaccine requirements ordered by Biden. And his administration is encouraging employers to voluntarily take additional steps that would push vaccines onto people or subject them to onerous testing requirements.
It comes as the Food and Drug Administration is due to meet this week to discuss whether an additional dose of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 should be distributed and, if so, who should receive it and when. .
The White House and its top medical advisers in August announced ambitious plans to offer boosters to nearly all adults, citing signs of declining protection and the then-booming delta variant. But they were rebuffed by many experts who said there is little data showing whether such broad use would stop breakthrough infections or slow the overall trajectory of cases.
Last month, the FDA cleared booster shots of Pfizer’s vaccine for older Americans and other groups with increased vulnerability to COVID-19. This is part of a larger effort by the Biden administration to strengthen protection against the delta variant and the potential decrease in vaccine immunity.
To add to the complexity, it is possible to use a booster of a different brand than someone’s first shots. Preliminary results from a U.S. government study suggest mixing and pairing boosters will work at least as well – and possibly much better for J&J recipients. These people had a stronger immune response if they received a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine as a booster than if they received another dose of the J&J vaccine, according to results published online Wednesday. The mix-and-match is also being discussed by the FDA panel this week.
While the FDA and CDC ultimately cut back on the use of Pfizer boosters, Biden administration officials, including Dr.Anthony Fauci, suggested that additional injections would eventually be recommended for most Americans.
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