White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was mocked online after suggesting that Americans remember their own self-care while shopping this holiday season - by treating themselves to a COVID vaccine.
'As you do your holiday shopping for your friends and family, don't forget to do a little self-care for yourself either,' the press secretary tweeted on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when US shoppers typically kickoff their holiday shopping.
'From buying a special something for yourself to getting your updated COVID and flu vaccines, take care of yourself this holiday season,' she continued.
Backlash was swift online as many Twitter users quickly brushed off her suggestion.
'A spoonfuyl o' sugar from Karine 'Care Bear' Jean-Pierre,' one user mocked.
It comes just days after White House officials announced a renewed push for more Americans to get the latest shots.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was mocked after suggesting Americans treat themselves to COVID vaccines while holiday shopping. On Tuesday, Jean-Pierre and White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci announced a renewed push for vaccines
As White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reminded Americans about the vaccine on Twitter on Friday, many pushed back and mocked her for the suggestion
Backlash was swift online as many Twitter users quickly brushed off her suggestion
Americans who got the updated COVID-19 booster shots are better protected against symptomatic infection than those who haven't - at least for now, U.S. health officials said Tuesday.
Updated boosters rolled out by Pfizer and rival Moderna in September have been a hard sell for vaccine-weary Americans. Only about 13 percent of U.S. adults so far have gotten a 'bivalent' shot that targets the omicron strain and the original coronavirus.
Share this article
As President Biden's press secretary reminded Americans about the vaccine on Twitter on Friday, many pushed back on the suggestion.
One Twitter user mocked her and the multiple boosters by writing: 'Yes, Chancellor Pierre. This year, my Secret Santa gift will be a gift card for the COVID vaccine, valid for unlimited boosters!'
Another joked: 'Because it is the season of giving I will donate my Covid vaccine to you, you can stick it anywhere you want.'
One responded that she should be focusing her time and energy elsewhere: 'Better yet, think of all the less privileged people out in the cold and in war zones and do something for them.'
One mocked her and the multiple boosters by writing: 'Yes, Chancellor Pierre. This year, my Secret Santa gift will be a gift card for the COVID vaccine, valid for unlimited boosters!'
Another joked: 'Because it is the season of giving I will donate my Covid vaccine to you, you can stick it anywhere you want'
Covid vaccines and boosters were pushed by white house officials earlier this week.
The first look at the new shots' real-world effectiveness shows they work, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert.
Speaking at a White House briefing expected to be his last before he retires from the government at the end of year, Fauci said what 'may be the final message I give you from this podium is that please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you're eligible.'
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed about 360,000 COVID-19 tests given to people with coronavirus-like symptoms at drugstores around the country between September, when the new boosters rolled out, and early November. Researchers compared the vaccination status of those who wound up having COVID-19 with those who didn't.
The new omicron-targeting booster added 30 percent to 56 percent protection against symptomatic infection, depending on how many prior vaccinations someone had, how long ago and their age, the CDC concluded.
The first look at the new shots' real-world effectiveness shows they work, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert
People getting the greatest benefit are those who'd never had a prior booster, just two doses of the original COVID-19 vaccine at least eight months earlier, said CDC's Dr. Ruth Link-Gelles, who led the study.
But even people who got a summertime booster of the original vaccine before seeking the new fall formula were 30% to 40% more protected than if they'd skipped this latest shot, she said.
'We think about it as the additional benefit or incremental benefit of getting one more dose, and in this case that one more dose is a bivalent,' Link-Gelles said.
The updated boosters target the BA.5 omicron strain that until recently was the most common type, an effort to build on the original COVID-19 vaccines' protection as the virus continues to mutate.
A Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center nurse loads a syringe with a Moderna COVID-19 booster vaccine on November 18. Moderna recently announced early evidence that its updated booster induced BQ.1.1-neutralizing antibodies
The original shots have offered strong protection against severe disease and death no matter the variant, but protection against mild infection wanes. CDC´s analysis tracked only the first few months of the new boosters´ use so it's too early to know how long added protection against symptomatic infection lasts.
But 'certainly as we enter the holiday season, personally I would want the most possible protection if I'm seeing my parents and grandparents,' Link-Gelles said. 'Protection against infection there is going to be really helpful, because you potentially would stop yourself from getting a grandparent or other loved one sick.'
Even protection against severe illness slipped some when BA.5 surged, the reason health authorities have strongly urged older adults and others at high risk not to skip the new booster.
To that end, the Biden administration announced a six-week campaign urging people - especially seniors - to get the boosters, saying the shots could save lives as Americans gather for the holidays.