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White House confirms U.S. may require foreign visitors be vaccinated

The White House confirmed Thursday (August 5) it is considering requiring foreign visitors to be vaccinated as it plans to eventually reopen international travel but said it had made no final decision and was not immediately going to lift restrictions.

White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients confirmed an interagency working group is developing plans that foreign nationals may “need to have some type of vaccine requirement.”

Speaking during a routine White House COVID response taskforce news conference, Zients emphasized the White House has made no final decision on vaccine requirements and said that was one path under consideration. Reuters first reported the White House effort to develop vaccine requirements on Thursday.

During the same briefing, the top U.S. infectious disease official said the U.S. was working to get immunocompromised individuals COVID-19 booster shots as soon as possible, as data suggests they do not make an adequate immune response to the virus.

“For us and for the individuals involved, it is a very high priority,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters.

Fauci also said getting more people vaccinated as quickly as possible would help prevent future mutations of COVID-19 and that the rising Delta variant in the U.S. can be turned around with more vaccinations.

“We have within our power to prevent that. And you prevent it by not allowing the virus to freely circulate,” he said.

(Production: Mana Rabiee)

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