First vaccination ads for updated Covid-19 booster target adults aged 50 and over

In the public education campaign’s new video ad, released Thursday and titled “At Risk,” text reads “9 out of 10 deaths from Covid were people over 50” and “Vaccines reduce risk of death “, while the music plays in the background. . “So get your updated Covid vaccine. Now.”

An English-language version of the ad begins airing on television Thursday, and a Spanish-language version will air starting Monday, according to HHS. Those ads, which were first reported on CNN, will also run on radio and online, with a print campaign expected on Monday.

“These announcements highlight the importance of getting up-to-date vaccines, especially for older Americans, by directing them to Vaccines.gov,” HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Sarah Lovenheim told CNN in a e-mail. “The HHS COVID-19 vaccine public education campaign continues to work tirelessly to ensure that Americans have the information and access they need to protect themselves from COVID-19.”

Between April and June, people 50 and older accounted for the vast majority of hospitalizations for Covid-19 (86%) and hospital deaths (96%), according to a study published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Diseases of the USA. But additional data from the CDC shows that even for those 50 and older who received two of the original boosters, the risk of hospitalization was less than a quarter of what it was for those who were not vaccinated in July.
Since the authorization of the original version of the Covid-19 vaccines, HHS has been releasing public service announcements and paid advertisements to encourage people to get vaccinated. The first set of HHS’s Covid-19 vaccination ads debuted last year in April. The campaign has developed and launched more than 5,000 ads in 14 languages ​​and partnered with more than 1,000 organizations.

Previous Covid-19 vaccination ads featured heartwarming scenes of friends hugging and socializing after being vaccinated, with upbeat music playing in the background or emotional testimonies from unvaccinated Covid-19 survivors who had been hospitalized. The most recent previous PSA, published in June, encouraged parents to vaccinate their children 6 months and older against Covid-19.

The Biden administration has been pushing to acknowledge that Covid-19 vaccines could become a more routine part of our lives, as the nation may need to administer an updated booster every year as the coronavirus likely will continue to circulate for the foreseeable future.

The updated vaccines replace the booster shots that were previously offered for people 12 years of age and older.

There is no plan to phase out earlier vaccines used in the primary series, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in August. But he described this as a “year of transition”, when people need to make sure they have a “good foundation to build on … that will help protect us from the unknown”.
An annual Covid-19 vaccine would be similar to how the seasonal flu vaccine is administered annually.

“For most Americans, one vaccine a year will provide a high degree of protection against serious disease, and that’s what we need to focus on,” Dr. Ashish Jha, response coordinator for the White House coronavirus. week “Maybe for some high-risk people, the elderly, the immunocompromised, they might need protection more than once a year, but for most Americans, that’s where it’s at, and I think it’s a very good place to be.”

How to get your updated Covid-19 vaccine

The updated Covid-19 vaccine and seasonal flu vaccines are available at most pharmacies, doctor’s offices and health clinics.

The government website vaccines.gov allows people to search where vaccines are given, and appointments can be booked by phone or online.

The updated Pfizer/BioNTech booster is licensed for adults 12 years of age and older, and the updated Moderna booster is licensed for adults 18 years of age and older.

A single dose of the updated Covid-19 vaccine is recommended at least two months after completing the initial two-dose vaccine series or its most recent booster.

“Vaccines against COVID-19 have gotten us through the worst of the pandemic — saving millions of lives, keeping countless people out of the hospital, and providing peace of mind to the nation,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra , in a statement last week.

“As fall approaches and people spend more time indoors, I encourage everyone who is eligible for this free updated COVID vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones, from the same way they would get an annual flu shot,” he said. “Now we have another chance to get ahead of this pandemic and we will continue to work every day to protect everyone from COVID-19.”

CNN’s Deidre McPhillips and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

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