Biden: “Covid-19 no longer controls our lives” | International

Joe Biden receives his fourth dose of the Pfizer vaccine this Wednesday in Washington.
Joe Biden receives his fourth dose of the Pfizer vaccine this Wednesday in Washington.Anna Moneymaker (AFP)

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, 79 years old, today received his fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine a day after the FDA gave the go-ahead for that second booster dose for those over 50 years of age. “He has not hurt at all,” said the Democrat to questions from journalists while the president proceeded to lower the sleeve of his shirt after receiving the injection. Biden has stated that due to the vaccination, testing and treatment strategy carried out last year, the US is at a new point in the pandemic. “That does not mean that covid-19 is over,” the president wanted to specify. “It means that it no longer controls our lives.”

Biden has given his second booster dose when in the United States there is already a highly contagious subvariant of omicron, BA.2, which represents almost 55% of those positive for coronavirus, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC). In addition, the White House has reminded the nation’s Congress that in June the funds that exist to deal with the pandemic will run out.

“This is not a partisan issue, we are talking about medicine,” Biden said from the White House. Before the vaccine booster was injected, the president has urged the Capitol to act “immediately”, since the country “cannot wait” for a new spike in infection to address funding problems. The president was very clear in reporting that without new funding, there will be vaccine supply problems beginning “at the end of May.” If Congress doesn’t provide more money, the administration won’t have enough booster doses this fall “to ensure injections are available, free and easily accessible to all Americans.”

BA.2 has become the most common cause of new covid-19 infections in the northeastern states of the country. Last week, the World Health Organization declared BA.2 to be the dominant version of Omicron worldwide. So, Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said that she anticipated that it would soon be dominant in the United States as well.

Despite the fact that the official position of the Biden Administration was that an increase in cases that would cause a new peak was not expected, the presence of BA.2 may upset this approach, which reinforces the position of the White House that it is necessary to learn to live and adapt with the virus. Scientists have been keeping a close eye on BA.2, one of three genetically distinct varieties of omicron, which was discovered by South African researchers in November last year. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the Biden administration, has said that the subvariant could cause an increase in cases in the US, but does not envisage a major escalation, as happened with omicron itself in mid-December and January.

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In the UK, which has a larger volume of vaccinated population than the US, there has been a new wave of cases caused by this more contagious BA.2 version of the virus. Both cases, hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus have been on an upward trend since the end of February. However, BA.2 infections have not reached the peaks seen with BA.1. Throughout the pandemic, the United States has lived through what was happening in the United Kingdom some three weeks later. The North American authorities began to take into account the tendency of the European country to prepare the way here.

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