White House COVID-19 Response Team, federal health officials hold press briefing
The White House COVID-19 Response Team and federal public health officials are holding a press briefing to provide updates on the COVID-19 response effort.
one Point Next Slide. Now, let's take a look at what the clinical effect of boosters are shown on this slide. A data from Israel namely the absolute rate of confirmed infection for 100,000 risk days, striking in this slide is that if you look at the confirmed infections in yellow of people who have not been boosted across multiple age groups, you see a dramatic diminution in the infection in green. For those who were boosts this is for confirmed infection. Next slide, when you look at severe illness, you see very similar data. 12 or more days after a third shot boost of the bio in tech, There was almost a 19-fold lower incidence of severe disease in people older than 60 years old And more than a 22 fold lower in incidents of severe disease in younger people from 40 to 60 year old. Next slide and then finally, just bringing to your attention the announcement that was made yesterday from Pfizer biontech About their randomized controlled trial of more than 10,000 people who received two doses of the air vaccine and then got a 30 microgram booster. They had a relative vaccine efficacy of close to 96% compared to individuals who are not boost Of note. There were five cases in the booster group 109 cases in the non booster group. Again with a very favorable safety profile. Back to you, Jeff. Thank you Doctors. Now let me provide some more detail on our efforts to get booster shots in arms based on the criteria. Doctor Wolinski just laid out More than 120 million Americans will become eligible for a booster in the coming months. That's two out of three fully vaccinated adults in the U. S. This includes over 60 million vaccinated with Madonna and J. & J. On top of the 60 million vaccinated with Pfizer Importantly of that total of 120 million. About 70 million are eligible. Now as of today, booster shots provide enhanced protection and are a significant step forward in our fight against the virus. And to be clear we are ready to execute on boosters. Over the last two months we've prepared and our work is paying off 10 million Americans have already gotten a booster shot Over 40% of eligible seniors, those most at risk have gotten their third shot. Hundreds of thousands of more people roll up their sleeves to get their booster shot each and every day. And we are ready to get booster shots in the arms of tens of millions of newly eligible americans. Thanks to the president's aggressive actions, we have ample supply of all three vaccines Pfizer Moderna and J and J. And we have a well tested nationwide vaccine distribution and delivery system boosters are free, no insurance or ID required and getting a booster is easy and convenient. In fact, boosters are available at over 80,000 locations across the country, including more than 40,000 local pharmacies as well as thousands of doctors offices, Community health centers, rural health clinics and community based vaccination sites, 90% of Americans live within five miles of the vaccine site. We've worked with governors, state and local health departments, pharmacies, community and rural health centres and other partners to ensure vaccine sites and providers have operations in place to get shots and arms quickly efficiently. And equitably importantly, this includes connecting pharmacies and other vaccine providers with long term care facilities to those most at risk can get their shots, their booster shots quickly and conveniently. States are standing up more vaccination sites, launching robust public education campaigns, staffing up call centers and deploying mobile clinics to help ensure people have easy access to boosters and thanks to the funding and the american rescue plan. States can receive 100% federal reimbursement for these and other booster operations and outreach activities. Pharmacy partners are ready scheduling systems are being updated and staffing plans are in place to handle the increased volume importantly, Equity remains front and center. We've worked with States pharmacies and others to make sure they are making boosters available in the hardest hit communities and helps community health centers and rural health clinics do the same later today we'll meet with key partners including governors, state and local health departments and pharmacies as they launched their Madonna and J and J booster programs. We're also getting resources to community groups, faith based organizations and local leaders so they can understand who's eligible for boosters and spread the word in their communities. The bottom line is that our booster program is off to a very strong start and today with additional boosters authorized. We're accelerating with tens of millions more americans now eligible for enhanced protection. It's been a very important week of progress in our fight against the virus and we're laser focused on executing against the president's plan to move us further along on our path out of this pandemic with that. Let's open it up for questions, Kevin. Thanks Jeff Reminder. Please keep your questions to one Question 1st. Let's go to Jeff Mason at Reuters. Thanks very much. Can you just spell out exactly what age groups are now eligible for the boosters and and if you expect to expand that in the coming weeks, that just wasn't entirely clear to me. And and dr Fauci if you might be able to explain homologous and neurologist that would be that'd be awesome to the doctor will see why don't why don't you take the first on who's eligible? And dr Fauci the second. Perfect. Okay. So in terms of for those who got J. And J everybody is eligible if you've got your dose more than two months ago. So anybody who got J. And J. If their doses more than two months ago then they are eligible for a boost for those who got Pfizer and moderna. Um If your dose was more than six months ago, you're eligible if you're over the age of 65 and you're eligible if you live in a long term care facility And you're eligible if you're over the age of 18 and you have underlying medical conditions um or you live or work in a high risk place. So all of those groups are currently eligible for a booster vaccine. We are following the data in real time. Um and we are looking at its ongoing efficacy as well as its potential for waning in our other age groups. And we will update our recommendations as soon as we have more data for recommendations for other other age groups for the Madonna Advisor after Pops. Hey Jeff I'm sorry that if I wasn't clear on that homologous homologous means you boost with the same product that was the original regimen. So if I got em RNA from Fisa and I get boosted with Pfizer that's a homologous boost if I get originally vaccinated with J. And J. And I get boosted with Moderna. That's called a hetero ologists boost. Sorry next question please let's go to Jeannie Baumann at Bloomberg. Thank you so much for taking my question. Um I was wondering when we might have data on boosting with the 50 microgram dose of moderna since the N. I. A. I. D. Study looked at 100 microgram dose and then I was also wondering it seems like the recommendations on boosting right now don't necessarily make a preference on the series and you know if more data become available, might there be recommendation to do jane J followed by an M. R. N. A. If that ends up so dr Fauci on the 50 microgram dose to you first and then dr walensky in the second part of the question. Yeah. Right now the data that we got was the 100 microgram dose. The company itself is submitting data on the study that they did On 50. I'm not sure exactly when that's gonna be able to go to the FADA for a regulatory approval. Maybe Rachelle knows better but I'm not quite sure when that's gonna happen. Michelle. Yeah, thank you for that question jenny. So let me be very clear that the FDA authorization for a boost with Moderna whether you're boosting Moderna or you're boosting anything else is for a 15 microgram dose. So all of our modern a boost our for 50 micro gram dose and we're reaching out and doing a lot of training and teaching with our providers are pharmacists to make sure that the booster dose from Madonna is known to be a 50 microgram dose that's a half dose from the primary series. Um with regard to your question for preference. Um you know we are will not articulate a preference. My understanding is that most people will have done largely well with the initial vaccine that they got and may express a preference very much for the original vaccine series they got. Having done very well. There may be some people who might prefer another vaccine over the one that they received. And the current CDC recommendations now make that possible. Next question, let's go to Sabrina Siddiqui at the Wall Street Journal. I thank you as always for doing the briefing. This is probably a question for dr walensky. But can you just clarify the guidance for pregnant people and I do believe that's one of the underlying conditions. So are you recommending boosters for all women or all people who are pregnant? And also is that true for nursing women? Because I think there's been some confusion over how you would define people who are recently pregnant and whether or not they should get a booster. Okay. Yeah. Thank you Sabrina for that question. First and foremost. I want to really emphasize how important it is to get a primary series if you're pregnant. We have relatively low rates of vaccination for pregnant women in general. So really important to consider pregnancy and underlying medical condition. High risk of covid. And yes you are absolutely um you should get vaccinated if you are pregnant if you are uh eligible for a boost and you're pregnant. You should also get your boost during that period of time. And I would say for nursing as well. Next question petty piece at NBC news. Yeah. Hi um I have a mask question um and I know most places still have high to moderate transmission right now. But as more communities start to get I mean high the substantial community transmission. But as more communities start to get down into that low to moderate community transmission, is it still the recommendation that people who are fully vaccinated can go without wearing masks indoors if there is low community spread or you guys rethinking that at all. Dr. Willis Key. Yeah, thank you for that question. You know, we still have 75,000 cases in this country and I am very encouraged to watch these trends coming down but as you know, we have still over 90% of our counties that are in substantial or high risk. Hi community transmission. So we're watching that very carefully. We're scaling up our vaccinations, scaling up our booster programs and um we will you know, hopefully have vaccinations for Children as well. And as we watch the community levels come down we will update our recommendations. It's important to note that as we look at the current situation, we are also heading into respiratory virus season. During that season. We know respiratory viruses tend to thrive and so we're taking all of those into consideration. Okay, kevin, last question, Zeke Ap um thanks as always for doing this uh maybe for Dr Fauci is hoping is there any research regarding uh the a booster doses ability to slow a person's ability to transmit the virus or any effect on transmission for vaccinated between vaccinated and boosted individuals and then maybe for documents here and Jeff is the administration rethinking the definition of what it means to be fully vaccinated. Now that these boosters are recommended. Should people who are eligible for booster now get one by a certain time frame to maintain their fully vaccinated status dr Fauci. Yeah, thanks for that question. Uh there is highly suggestive data from the Israeli cohort who is well enter their boosting program That in the boosting which they essentially doing for everyone from 12 years old or older, they are finding that simultaneously with the clinical effect of decrease in infection and severe disease, they are seeing a gradual diminution coincident with the booster in what we call the are on Or namely the transmissibility from one person to any of a number of other people. It has gone down from 1.33 to 1.112 now. 0.985. So although that's not definitive, it does strongly suggest that there is an impact on transmissibility. But further studies would have to confirm that dr Wolinski on the definition of fully vaccinated. Yeah, it's a really great question. Um right now we don't have booster eligibility for all people um currently, so we are going to we have not yet changed the definition of fully vaccinated. Um we will continue to look at this, we may need to update our definition of fully vaccinated in the future. But right now, what I would say is if you're eligible for a booster, go ahead and get your booster and we will continue to follow and the current CDC definition, Doctor Wolinsky is two doses of an M. R. N. A vaccine and one dose of J and J. Correct? Absolutely. Yes. Thank you. Okay, well, thank you everybody for, for joining and I hope everybody has a good weekend and we look forward to seeing you next week. Thank you. Mm.