Dec 1, 2022 - Health

Exclusive: HHS partners with U.S. men's soccer team to promote updated COVID vaccines

The Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with the U.S. national men's soccer team to promote vaccinations with the updated COVID-19 shot, which are currently at a low.

Driving the news: The updated bivalent COVID shot is available for people aged five and up. However, only around 12% of the U.S. population has received the new booster shot, compared to the 69% that have completed their primary series, per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

State of play: USMNT defender Walker Zimmerman will encourage Americans to get an updated booster to protect them from "COVID's worst possible outcome," according to a promotional video first shared with Axios that will be posted on the USMNT's social media on Friday.

What they're saying: "Our message is simple: Don’t wait. Get the updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall. It’s safe and effective," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement.

Don't forget: The bivalent vaccine was found to be more effective against current strains of the virus compared to the original vaccines, according to the first real world study to look at the shot's performance published last week.

  • "Due to waning immunity of monovalent doses, the benefit of the bivalent booster increased with time since receipt of the most recent monovalent vaccine dose," the study says.

The big picture: The video is part of HHS' "We Can Do This" public education campaign, which looks to encourage vaccinations through partnerships with influencers and organizations with large media followings.

  • The department has worked with NASCAR and Major League Baseball in the past to increase uptake of the updated vaccine.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that the USMNT will now post the promotional video on Friday.

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