Biden to request funds for another COVID vaccine amid rising cases

Biden to request funds for another COVID vaccine amid rising cases

President Joe Biden on Friday said he plans to ask for more funding from Congress for the development of a new coronavirus vaccine.

“I signed off this morning on a proposal we have to present to the Congress a request for additional funding for a new vaccine that is necessary, that works,” Biden, who is vacationing in the Lake Tahoe area, told reporters.

“It will likely be recommended that everybody get it no matter whether they’ve gotten it before or not,” he added.

The announcement comes as a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in some regions has resulted in the return of mask mandates by some entities in the U.S. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have also risen in the past few weeks as well, according to data.

New vaccines containing the version of the omicron strain XBB.1.5 are already being developed by Pfizer, Novavax and Moderna. However, the virus’s continuing mutation will likely necessitate updated vaccines.

The Biden administration’s supplemental funding request for Congress for the start of the new fiscal year did not include COVID-19 vaccinations. Instead, the White House asked for roughly $40 billion to fund short-term key priorities such as more aide for Ukraine, federal disaster funds, climate change and border priorities.

Last fall, Biden asked for over $9 billion from Congress to combat the virus, but the request was denied.

The Associated Press Contributed reporting.

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