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White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jah called on the Americans review their vaccination status and get vaccinated if you can as breakthrough infections continue to rise across the country.
“We’re seeing a high rate of re-infection,” Jha said during a pre-recorded interview that aired on ABC’s This Week. “We see that people who are not up to date with their vaccines have a lot of breakthrough infections.”
Jha emphasized that the country has developed tools and infrastructure for provide Americans with vaccines and minimize exposure to infection – as long as they keep their vaccinations up to date.
“Protection against serious diseases is still there, which is good news,” he explained. “But we are still seeing some protection against infection, but not as much. This is the immune-elusive nature of this virus.”
COVID-19 omicron sub-variant BA.5 became the dominant variant in the US in early July, accounting for more than 53% of cases nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Food and Drug Administration has advised vaccine makers to target omicron sub-variants when developing vaccines for release in the fall, even as experts warn that a new variant may emerge at that time.
“We must continue to create next-generation vaccines,” Jha said. “We have to make sure we have adequate treatment. We can get through it, but not if we get distracted from our ball.”
“We have to really stay focused,” he continued. “And we’re focused and still focused on managing that.”
He kept calling on the Americans make a booster shot if they didn’t get one this year.
According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of COVID-19 is increasing in 110 countries, with an overall surge of 20% due to BA.4 and BA.5.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 88 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus and there have been over a million deaths due to the virus.
Julia Musto of Fox News contributed to this report.