US FALL/WINTER SURGE PREDICTIONS The US government has begun to prepare the public for and warn the US Congress of a potential surge in COVID-19 cases this coming fall and winter. Some experts predict as many as 100 million new COVID-19 cases will occur during the colder months. The estimate is based on several variables, including waning immunity, a growing sense of relaxation about the pandemic, and the potential for new variants. On May 8, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha called on Congress to authorize US$22.5 billion for vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. The White House’s original request of US$30 billion dollars was pared down to US$10 billion in what appeared to be a compromise before negotiations hit a wall over US-Mexico border public health policies. Without additional funding, the administration has said it likely will run out of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines if the nation moves forward with authorizations for a second booster dose for all adults. White House documents suggest the country would need an additional 87 million vaccine doses for adult boosters and an additional 5 million for boosters for children, if authorized. The administration is discussing contingency plans if vaccine supplies run short, with some reporting that boosters could be limited to high-risk groups in the fall if additional funding is not secured. 

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