Washington, DC—The newest White House strategy might involve expanding locations where COVID-19 vaccines are delivered, but pharmacies will continue to play a key role, according to President Joe Biden.

“The first thing we’re going to do, this includes 42,000 local pharmacies, where folks with questions can talk to the pharmacist they know and already have dealt with,” he said at a recent briefing.

“These locations overwhelmingly allow you to walk in without an appointment and get the vaccination when you’re picking up your prescription or just going in to get your toothpaste or something else you need from a drugstore.”

With the hyper-transmissible Delta variant becoming more common in the United States, federal officials are stepping up efforts to increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, which have been shown effective against it.

“The Delta variant is predicted to be the second most prevalent variant in the United States, and I expect that in the coming weeks it will eclipse the alpha variant,” Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, director of CDC said at another White House briefing. “An estimated 25 percent of all reported SARS-CoV-2 sequences nationwide are the Delta variant.  And in some regions of the country, nearly one in two sequences is the Delta variant.”

In light of that, President Biden outlined several other areas of focus to get more Americans vaccinated:
• Community-by-community, door-to-door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need on how safe and accessible the vaccine is. 
• More emphasis on getting the vaccines to more primary care doctors and physicians, which has helped reduce vaccine hesitancy in the past few months.
• Increasing efforts to get a supply to pediatricians so that adolescents aged 12 to 18 years can get vaccinated as they go for back-to-school checkups or get ready for fall sports.
• A renewed focus on delivering vaccines in the workplace by setting up vaccination clinics on-site or allowing paid time off to go get a shot.
• Further expanding mobile clinic efforts to take vaccines to where people are.

“Study, after study, after study has shown that, since early May, virtually every COVID-19 hospitalization and death in the United States has been among the unvaccinated,” President Biden said. “So, if you’re vaccinated, you’re protected. But if you’re unvaccinated, you’re not, and you’re putting yourself, and more importantly, maybe, from your perspective, your family and your friends at risk. So, please, get vaccinated now. It works. It’s free. And it’s never been easier, and it’s never been more important. Do it now, for yourself and the people you care about, for your neighborhood, for your country. It sounds corny, but it’s a patriotic thing to do.”

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