White House COVID-19 Response Team discusses pandemic, vaccine distribution
The White House COVID-19 Response Team provides its first update on vaccine distribution and the spread of coronavirus across the country.
continue actions that the public can take to protect themselves and their loved ones. Let's start with an overview of the data. There are some hopeful signs that we're watching very closely. 25.1 million cova 19 cases have been reported to the CDC through January 25th. During the week of January 19th through the 25th, the seven day average of new cases decreased by 21% to over 226,000 per day during the week of January 18th to 24th. The seven day average of new hospital admissions of patients with Cove in 19 also decreased by 15% to move 3 13,000 per day. However, over 78,000 patients were hospitalized with Kobe 19. As of January 24th, 419,827 deaths have been recorded since January, 22nd 2020. During the week of January 19th, 2 January 25th, the seven day average number of deaths decreased by 4.9% to 3113 per day. And while these data trending downward is a good sign, the number of deaths reported in a day. A single day during the outbreak was reported on January 20th. The peak number off 4383 deaths though I am encouraged by these trends are case rates remain extraordinarily high and now is the time to remain vigilant if we continue on the current trajectory. The CDC most recent national ensemble forecast publics that 479,000 to 514,000 Kovar 19 deaths will be reported and by February 20th 2021. I know this is not news we all want to hear, but this is something we must say. So we are all aware. But if we are united in action, we can turn things around. Continuing to expand safe, effective vaccination is key toe ending the Cove in 19 Pandemic and bringing our country back toe Health daily. Vaccine doses administered continued to rise to more than 1.6 million doses per day over the past week, over 23.5 million doses of cove in 19 vaccine have been already administered. This includes $3.4 million million people who have already received their second dose. I want to take a moment here to emphasize that the co vid 19 vaccines are safe and they work. And this is backed up with data that I would like to share with you. Last week, the CBC released in MMWR on severe adverse events, most notably an awful axis for those receipt of the Madonna vaccine as well as the Pfizer vaccine. Based on our most recent data, we found that there were 2.1 cases of Anna Phil axis per million administer doses of Madonna and 6.2 cases of Anna Phil axis per million doses administered of Pfizer. Let me be clear. These are rare, treatable outcomes, and the cove in 19 vaccines are safe. It's also important to put this into context. The risk of getting sick with Kobe 19 are much higher than the risk of allergy or anaphylaxis from the vaccine in the US Sadly, approximately 16,500 people for every one million who are diagnosed with Cove it will die. And while anaphylaxis can be scary, there are effective treatments, and patients generally do quite well. It's also important to note the mild side effects like pain, where you got your shot feeling feverish or tired on Buffalo X after getting your shot, these air all normal and expected part of getting the vaccine, especially the second dose. And these symptoms mean that your immune system is revving up and the vaccine is actually working. CDC is actively monitoring for safety signals associated with these vaccines, and we're committed to sharing those safety data with you as they emerge. Also last week, 500 updated guidance to reduce barriers associated with returning for a second vaccine dose on a specific date or when circumstances change between a 1st and 2nd dose. There are two important updates that I want to clarify first. In our updated guidance, the 500 still recommends that people get their second dose as close to the recommended interval as possible. That would be three weeks for the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for the Madonna vaccine. However, we also know that life can get in the way and that some of those doses may be missed in the best time window. And in those rare circumstances, the second dose may be given upto six weeks, or 42 days after the first second. The CDC has reiterated that the cove in 19 vaccines are not interchangeable. However, it's also true that an extremely rare circumstances people may not simply remember or have documentation of which first dose they received in these extremely rare situations. We have said that any available Mara Neykova 19 vaccine may be administered as the second dose if people are unaware of which first dose they received and that would be a least 28 days after their first. I also know that there are concerns about variants, viruses mutate, and we have always expected that variance would emerge and we have been looking for them. The variants have been identified recently, seem to spread more easily. They're more transmissible, which can lead to increased number of cases and increased stress on are already taxed healthcare system. In the United States, 308 cases of B 117 variant that originated from the UK have been confirmed in 26 states as of January 26th. We also identified this week our first case of the P one variant in the United States in Minnesota. To date, no cases of the B 1351 variant that was first detected in South Africa has been identified in the U. S. 500 is committed to working with international and state and local partners and increasing surveillance to monitor the situation and share as soon as we learn more the emergency. The emergence of variance underscores the need for public health action. First, get vaccinated when it's your turn. Also, some people may need help getting vaccinated. Please consider helping your neighbors and loved ones schedule or travel to their appointments. Second, wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands. And finally, now is not the time to travel. But if you must be safe and follow the CDC guidance. This includes wearing a mask as well as testing and quarantine protocol. Please do your part to get cases down by simply taking these actions. Thank you. I will now turn it over to Dr Fauci, who will share some scientific updates, right? Yeah, bit about therapeutics. Um, in therapy, Dr Sake. Yeah, I believe your audio just came on, So if you could come back to the beginning, uh, and start again, that'd be great. Okay, So in other words, nobody heard anything for me. Is that correct. Okay, well, I said a lot of really. It's of concern that Dr Walensky mentioned when you think in terms of therapeutics, you think in terms of therapeutics for advanced disease and therapeutics for early and moderate disease, but also buried in that is targeting the virus itself versus targeting the apparent inflammatory responses that often are the source and the cause of the morbidity, ease and mortalities that we see with this particular disease. So first, if you look at the therapeutics for moderate advanced disease, one of the ones that have shown clearly to be very applications is dexter methods owning people who are hospitalized who are on ventilators or have high flow oxygen requirements, it is shown to significantly diminish the 28 day mortality. There's been another group of studies, such as barest cinnamon and rum disappear, which have received an emergency use authorization moving over to the left hand part of the slide. There are a number of interventions that have been used form or early or moderate disease. For example, Randy Severe, which is a direct antiviral, has received FDA approval, and a variety of monoclonal antibodies have also received emergency use authorization as have convalescent plasma. Other anti virals harp immune globulin and things like anticoagulants are currently in clinical trial. One comment about things like monoclonal antibodies in convalescent plasma. Since they are giving anybody to someone who would need a direct antiviral effect of the anybody, it is best to use it early before individuals actually have had the opportunity to progress. And that's what we're gonna be seeing in the future is an attempt to, as early as possible get these interventions to the patients, uh, in their particular state, hopefully as outpatients. If we could logistically get that done, if we could move on to the next slide. And that is vaccines. As many of you know now, the federal government has been involved either in the development of and or the facilitation of the testing of a number of vaccines that represent three separate platforms. Shown on this slide is what we all know is the extraordinary, efficacious and safe results of the Moderna and the Pfizer Bio Antec product, with 94 to 95% efficacy and a good safety profile, both having received any u a. What we're looking at closely now is others that you see on the slide Johnson, AstraZeneca and Novavax, which are in various states of tri als. Of particular importance that you'll be hearing about likely within the next few days to a week are the results from the Johnson J and J trial and the reason they're important. It relates to some of the things that Dr Walensky said. And that is it's a phase three trial with a different platform. Ah, human adenovirus vector. But it is gonna be looking at efficacy not only in the United States but also in South Africa and in Brazil. So we will get a good feel from those I hope I believe we will. We'll let the data speak for itself. But what we will see was the relative efficacy against the wild type virus that is predominantly in the United States as well as the South African isolate, which in fact, is something that we will be able to get a feel for the efficacy there. So we'll have some comparative efficacy which will inform us on where we would go. If the eventuate shin occurs that we do have that particular lineage that would take a sense seat itself in the United States. So let me move on to the last slide because that relates to what I said. Dr. Walensky gave you a good feel for the distribution of the various lineages. The 117 which is in the UK the 351 South Africa, which I just mentioned, and the P one in Brazil. She mentioned about the increased transmissibility and the likelihood of an increase actually, in some lethal ITI in the B 117 The important question that people ask is, What is the impact on both monoclonal antibodies and on the vaccine induced Anybody's related to the vaccines that we're currently distributing. Now, when you're looking at the 117 namely what we refer to as the UK variant, what we're seeing is a very slight, if at all impact on vaccine induced antibodies and very little impact on anything else. So we are covered with that. Things get a bit more problematic when you go to the 351 or what we're seeing as the dominant one in South Africa, because in that regard there is a moderate diminution, namely a multiple diminution in the in vitro neutralization by vaccine induced anybody's, however, and this is an important, however, it still is well within the cushion of protection so you could diminish the vaccine, induced anybody efficacy by a few fold and still be well within the protective range of the vaccine. And that's the reason why you've seen announcements that actually, the vaccines that we're using are still effective. However, given that as a ah fact, now we have to be concerned looking forward at what the further evolution of this might be. Now I wanna make one mention about the monoclonal antibodies because they arm or seriously inhibited in the sense of impacting on their efficacy by this South African strain. That's the reason why there will be attempts to develop even other antibodies that might be able to avert this particular problem. So looking forward, what we plan to do in collaboration with the companies is to develop what we would call alternative or boosts that would use the same platform. But that would incorporate of particular immunogen that would address these particular variants. And for that reason we will always want to be a step or two ahead of what might be a problem in the future. So I'll stop there now and hand it over to Andy Slavitt. Yeah. Thank you, Dr Fauci. How do you want? Yeah, thank you, Dr Fauci. And also thank you, Dr Wolinski. Three countries Truly lucky to have the two of you leading the charge on both our nation's best scientists at our nation's best public health officials. I want to pick up where doctors Wolinsky and Fauci left off public health and science. I'm going to talk about another topic which is execution of the plan to combat the covert crisis. Namely, the strategy, the progress and the challenges openly and transparently. Now, to begin, I'd like to start with one of the core pillars of our plan. And that is the equitable healthcare access and outcomes for all Americans. So let me introduce Dr Marcela Nunez Smith, who is head of the health equity task Force, to make some comments on where we stand as a country in the battle to make sure we get every American equitable access, the medical care and vaccinations that they need. Great. Thank you so much, Andy. And that's correct. You know, equity is absolutely a foundational component. of our national plan. You know there's a moral imperative. It's simply the right thing to do to ensure that those who are hardest hit or at highest risk have the opportunity to stay safe and healthy through this pandemic. And there's also the science of it. We cannot beat this virus without making sure we're executing a plan that works for all communities. So we've committed to taking an equity lens to every aspect of this pandemic response that includes minimizing the risk of getting infected and for those who get co vid minimizing the risk of hospitalization or death. So that includes ensuring access to pee pee testing treatments and vaccines. It also includes making it possible for people to safely quarantine and isolate and to monitor the impacts of long covert. So from what the data show us, we still have a long way to go. Latino, indigenous and black people in America are dying at high rates from Cove in 19, and folks in rural communities have case and death rates that continue to climb, and they're dying at higher rates than people in metropolitan areas. So by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, you know disability geography based on where you live, Cove in 19 is leaving a terrible imprint on far too many communities. Excellent. So the president took immediate action to combat Cove it 19 health equities. Last Thursday, President Biden signed an executive order on ensuring an equitable pandemic response and recovery and a key part of his approach to ensuring equity is through the cove in 19 health equity task Force. So this task force is responsible for providing specific recommendations to the president through the Cove in 19 response coordinator for mitigating the health inequities caused or exacerbated by the Cove in 19 Pandemic and also for preventing these kinds of inequities in the future. You know, the task force will include individuals with insights into these groups that have been hardest hit, so their role will be advisory in nature. But the president has asked them to make some recommendations on a range of issues. Optimally, allocating Cove in 19 resource is by agencies and by state, local, tribal and territorial officials dispersing Cove in 19 relief funds in a way that advances equity, you know, ensuring effective culturally aligned communication, messaging and outreach to our hardest hit communities. and addressing ongoing health inequities faced by Cove in 19 survivors that may merit a public health response, It's gonna be essential that we collect data for the hardest hit communities and identify data sources that would enable development of short term targets for pandemic related actions and address longer term data shortfalls and challenges to better prepare and respond to future pandemics. So we will be announcing the members of this task force soon as president. Biden is adamant they hit the ground running, especially now, as so many people and communities are disproportionately hurting from this pandemic and for the last slide. Now, finally, it's critical. Everyone has equitable access toe all of the resources necessary to make it through this pandemic, and that includes equitable distribution of Corbyn 19 vaccines to all communities. So all Americans, everyone in our country should have the benefit of a safe, effective vaccine that can prevent them from getting sick or dying from Cove in 19. It takes intention and deliberate action to advance equity in this vaccine distribution process. Sort of is so important actions we're leveraging data sources both from government and other sectors to find and remedy inequities you know, we're limiting all out of pocket costs for vaccines. Your ability to pay should not play a role in decision of whether or not to receive this vaccine. We're removing structural barriers to access and underserved communities. We'll do this by making sure that it's convenient and accessible to get to vaccination sites by increasing the clinical and community based work force for outreach, education, vaccination and wrap around services. You know, we're working to make sure that transportation and paid time off are available so people can make it out to get their vaccine. We're gonna increase in support core venues of vaccination, including federally qualified health centers, and and he's going to talk about some of our other venues for vaccination that we're ramping up. But it will be important to make sure vaccine is available for everyone, and oftentimes that will mean bringing the vaccine right to people. So next we're already talking to states about their pandemic plans and strategies for equity. We're here to provide technical assistance when needed, but when local health officials are making great progress and equity we're sharing, we're gonna make sure that the information comes to them in places and in ways that are most likely to reach them. It's critical this public education work be very local in nature, critical that we in the federal government support the relationships that already exists between faith and community leaders and their communities. So while there is no single way to do this work, there are best practices that must define our approach. And supporting those best practices will be our focus in the days and weeks to come. So there's so much to do to get through this pandemic, and we want to make sure all communities are cared for and supported along the way. So with that, I'm going to turn it back over to you. Andy. Thank you, Dr Noonan Smith. And look, it's appropriate that I follow in my report doctors Wolinski, Fauci and Noona Smith very simply because it's important to send a message to the public that the White House respects and will follow the science and the scientists will speak independently and that our core values of science, public health and equity are going to drive our actions Here in the White House, the president launched a national strategy just as he assumed office on the second day and at the heart of that plan. It's the most aggressive actions possible to stem the pandemic and follow the science. So Dr Walensky spoke about the high levels of spread still in this country even is a decline. Dr. Fauci talked about the threat from the new variants. A doctor's noona. Smith spoke about our difficulty and challenges in getting access to vaccines all across the country. So given those realities, accelerating, the availability and the administration of vaccines are all the more important. So it's been a busy seven days. You've seen this begin to execute our strategy. We set up a team, began working with states and vaccine manufacturers, launched community vaccination centers, taken action to improve supply, revised travel restrictions and more. Now I know that many Americans are anxious and eager to get vaccinated. I want you to know we're taking this issue on with incredible urgency and purpose, despite not inheriting a fully developed strategy or the infrastructure to make vaccines readily available to Americans as quickly as they need to be. So far this week, we've been hitting our target of an average of one million vaccinations per day necessary to meet the president's early commitment to administer 100 million shots in 100 days. Now, as you heard from the president this week, he is pushing us to view one million per day as the floor, not the ceiling. To that end, we're releasing more supply, activating FEMA and deploying many more personnel. In fact, just this week FEMA announced that they had obligated $1 billion to support state vaccination sites. Now I want to step back for a moment and put our vaccination plan in some context to vaccinate every American over the age of 16. We're looking at a total need of well over 500 million doses of vaccines. Now that assumes two shots for every American 16 and older. Now I want to pause and say that everything we're talking about today in terms of vaccines reflects the vaccines currently on the market. That is a two dose regimen. We're not counting on things that are not in existence today. Our plan will be to make sure that we prepare for as many contingencies as exist. Right now, I wanna level with the public that we're facing too constraining factors. The first is getting enough supply quickly enough in the second is the ability to administer the vaccines quickly once they're produced and sent out to the sites. We're taking action to increase supply and increased capacity. But even so, it will be months before everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one. Now let me start with what's happened. So far, we've delivered 47 million doses, two states and to long term care facilities. We have administered about 24 million doses. Now we've gotten several questions on this, so I want to be clear. As you heard us announced yesterday, any stockpile that may have existed previously no longer exists. Our practice is to maintain a rolling inventory of 2 to 3 days of supply that we can use to supplement any shortfalls in production and to ensure that we are making deliveries as committed. But we're passing doses directly along two states very much in real time as they order them, and we're confident that we will receive the supply on a rolling basis from the manufacturers to allow us to continue to do so. Now we know there are places in the country with not enough vaccines, and at the same time there are places with vaccines that they're not using yet. This is a natural challenge states are facing, and we will give them more visibility into their forthcoming supply and providing technical assistance that will help them make sure to make quicker use of these doses. But I want to emphasize an essential ingredient to increasing the administration of vaccines is passage of the American rescue plan, which dedicates needed money for vaccinators and for the administration of vaccines. Now let me take you through what we're doing to increase the supply. So the president invoked the Defense Production Act last week as a big first step to increase the supply of vaccines. We're going to make sure that we get six doses out of fighters vials everywhere in America because that's the potential. And we're going to do that by acquiring something called low dead space syringes. I'm sure everybody knows what low dead space syringes are. I now do, and yesterday we announced a 16% increase in supply flowing to states every week for the next three weeks to a minimum of 10 million doses per week. That's good news. But what's also important about it is it gives states the visibility that they have lacked to know how Maney vaccines air coming in so they could make commitments to their partners in states and to the citizens and residents of their state, so they know when to expect vaccines to arrive. Pfizer and Madonna are committed to delivering a total of 200 million doses by the end of March, with much of it coming at the end of the quarter so it will accelerate. Pfizer yesterday announced that they think they can deliver 120 million doses this quarter. And as you heard from the president yesterday, the United States plans to purchase an additional 200 million doses for Madonna and Pfizer this year, which will be sufficient to vaccinate every American over the age of 16. And we expect those doses this summer. This entire thing is an unprecedented undertaking. We will run into anticipate, unanticipated issues, but our plan and the actions were taking in the days and weeks ahead is to deliver on these commitments to the public. Finally, we've also announced that we're creating additional path to get Americans vaccinated These will include standing up what we call community vaccination centers. We're going to launch 100 community vaccination centers this month. We will be also supplying more. We will be supplying vaccines directly to pharmacies. We'll be standing up mobile clinics to reach hard to reach areas, particularly, uh, in for pursuit of the health equity goals the doctor Nunes Smith has outlined. And we're going to partner with community health centers that reach hard hit communities and have infrastructure to deliver vaccines. But again, I want to close with this. It's critically important that Congress act. The American rescue plan is an important and vital part of getting America vaccinated. It's got bold and ambitious legislation that will help fund the effort that we're outlining today. And providing the resource is we need to defeat this pandemic. So we need immediate action with that, I'm gonna pass it back so that we could take some of your questions. Okay, great. Uh, if folks have a question you can use the raise hand feature on your screen on, we will try to get Thio as many as we can here in the time that we have left eso, Let's start with Angelea Yahoonews. You should be a muted Mhm. This is a technique mutiny. Hi, there. Thank you for taking questions. Can you hear me? Yes, we can. All right. Great. Thanks so much. I just wanted to get some clarity about the rollout of these vaccines. It seems like we are getting a nen crease in vaccinations and administration. Can you clarify what the sudden change was to be able to get to this point? Andy? Okay. Andy Slavitt, can you hear us? Yes, I can hear you. Okay. Did you hear? The question was about what? The increase, The recent increase. What? It was driven by that. The minimum of 10 million the States for the next three weeks. How is that a key? Thank you. Thank you, Jeff. It's a good question. Uh, look, this is this entire effort is not about just big blast goals, but it's about day to day execution. You know, this is the result of the work of Pfizer and Madonna. And in this case, much of the increase came from our work with Madonna. They were they were planned increases and scrutinizing what's available so that we could make a commitment to states. Very importantly, we need to add predictability, uh, into this process. So I think this is due to the hard work of everybody involved in the process. Great. Let's go to Cheryl Stolberg at the Times next. Thank you for doing this call. I appreciate it. Um, I was wondering if you could be specific about what you will not be able to do if Congress does not pass Theme, Erica, Rescue plan. And separately, I'm interested in hearing from Dr Wolinski. Uh, you're the C. D. C dash that states and localities not using about half the vaccine distributed to them. And if that data is the wrong picture, what is the accurate picture? So thank you. Sure, I'll take the first question and then I'll turn it over to Dr Wolinski. It's essential that Congress passed the act. We are committed to 100 shots in 100 days, and that piece of it is not dependent upon Congress providing funds. But as we all know, that's just the start. We need Congress to provide money for additional vaccinations, sites that provide firm or vaccinate tours. So in order to get all Americans vaccinated, we need Congress to provide funds for vaccination. We still do too little testing in this country. We need Thio ramp up testing significantly to need Congress to fund mawr testing, uh, in order to reopen schools and businesses and take care of people in congregate settings. Furthermore, believe it or not, we still have shortages of PPE and other critical materials. We need emergency funds in order to make sure that we have those materials. So those were just three of the key areas that need to be funded by Congress in order for us to execute on the president's national plan. Maybe you can repeat the question for Dr Wolinsky and I'll hand it over to her. Yes, the question for Dr Will NC is, um if how accurate is your data showing that states and localities air using Onley half the vaccine supply? And if that is not the real picture, then what is the accurate picture? That's a great question. We have, ah, database that actually looks at the vaccine supply. I wanna literally that. You know, not all vaccine that is sort of allocated or delivered or whatnot is available for inserting into people's arms and that where in the pipeline that is there is by the day of the week, whether it's available that singular day. We are working very hard and ensuring we understand exactly where the vaccine.