White House to encourage COVID boosters, flu shot this fall

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FILE - In this March 2, 2021, file photo, pharmacy technician Hollie Maloney loads a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

By AMANDA SEITZ

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House hopes to make getting a COVID-19 booster as routine as going in for the yearly flu shot. That’s at the heart of its campaign to sell the newly authorized shot to an American public that has widely rejected COVID-19 boosters since they first became available last fall.

Shots of the the newest boosters could start within days, and they are specifically designed by Pfizer and Moderna to respond to the omicron strain.

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The U.S. government has purchased 170 million doses and is emphasizing that anyone who wants a COVID-19 booster will get one for free.