BA.2 Sub-Variant Spreads, Second Booster Authorized : Consider This from NPR An omicron subvariant known as BA.2 could soon become the dominant form of the coronavirus in the United States. It's not more deadly, but it is more transmissible. At the same time, the Biden administration has authorized a second booster shot for people over 50 and other people vulnerable to infection.

But against that backdrop, Congress has so far refused to authorize more COVID spending measures, which would fund the stockpiling of more vaccine doses and public health surveillance for emerging variants.

NPR's Selena Simmons-Duffin reports on the funding debate. NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff looks at another variant whose creation gives scientists insight into how COVID-19 variants change, and why.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

New Variants. New Boosters. But So Far, No New COVID Spending From Congress

New Variants. New Boosters. But So Far, No New COVID Spending From Congress

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The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a second booster dose of the either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine for older people and certain immunocompromised individuals. Emily Elconin/Getty Images hide caption

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Emily Elconin/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a second booster dose of the either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine for older people and certain immunocompromised individuals.

Emily Elconin/Getty Images

An omicron subvariant known as BA.2 could soon become the dominant form of the coronavirus in the United States. It's not more deadly, but it is more transmissible.

At the same time, the Biden administration has authorized a second booster shot for people over 50 and other people vulnerable to infection.

But against that backdrop, Congress has so far refused to authorize more COVID spending measures, which would fund the stockpiling of more vaccine doses and public health surveillance for emerging variants.

NPR's Selena Simmons-Duffin reports on the funding debate. NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff looks at another variant whose creation gives scientists insight into how COVID-19 variants change, and why.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Brent Baughman. It was edited by Carrie Feibel, Vikki Valentine, Scott Hensley, and Ashley Brown. Our executive producer is Cara Tallo.