The U.S. government’s chief epidemiologist, Antoine Fauciwarned this Wednesday that if it is not possible to maintain a low level of coronavirus infections new variants will continue to emerge which will further complicate the fight against the pandemic.
Fauci spoke at the first press conference offered by the White House pandemic response team in two and a half monthsas the country comes exceed one million Covid deathsthe highest number in the world.
“immunity decreasesand that is why it is so important to be up to date with the doses of the vaccine and especially the booster doses,” said the epidemiologist.
His comments come at a time when many states across the country are recording increase in new infections and hospitalizationsdriven by the appearance of new highly contagious omicron subvariants.
“Immunity goes down,” Fauci said when explaining the importance of giving booster doses. Photo: Reuters
Deaths have not increased at the same rate as infections thanks, in part, to the effect of vaccines and the emergence of treatments for the disease, such as Pfizer’s pill, Paxlovid.
However, the danger posed appearance of new variants is that the immunity acquired against earlier forms of the coronavirus does not serve to protect the population once the effect of the first vaccines has passed.
As US government experts reminded us, the new generation of covid vaccines is already under development, and should be available in the fall or winter.
However, if the country wants to be able to buy enough vaccines to protect its population Congress is expected to approve the $22.5 billion in additional spending that the White House has requested, according to the government’s new pandemic response coordinator, Ashish Jha.
“I think we would see a lot of unnecessary deaths” if the spending plan doesn’t pass, Jha said.
The expert explained that the US government has already had preliminary discussions with the vaccine manufacturers, but they cannot begin to negotiate until they have a budgetand they run the risk of “falling behind” other countries that have already allocated funds.
Jha further assured that his team is preparing for any scenario, including one where they receive less funding than requested.
“I’m sure we’ll find the money to vaccinate some Americans, maybe just the high-risk population, we don’t know. But it’s not a decision we want to make,” the doctor said.
The experts all agreed to continue to recommend the use of masks when the risk of contagion is high, and vaccination with booster doses for those who can receive them.
Call to get vaccinated
In this sense, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, recalled that many people under the age of 50 have not yet received the booster of the covid-19 vaccine.
According to data from the CDC itself, 66.5% of the US population has completed the vaccination schedule, and only 46.4
“There are still quite a few people who haven’t taken the third dose and we know that’s very important, especially against omicron,” Walensky explained.
The expert stressed the importance of these people being vaccinated with the booster so that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can approve the use of a fourth dose for this age group, which is not yet recommended. except in case of risk.
Similarly, children under the age of 6, who still do not have access to vaccination in the United States, should soon be included in the vaccination strategy, although none of the experts wanted to date this change of date. criteria.
According to Jha, the FDA is responsible for approving the use of vaccines for different age groups, and in the case of those under 6, they want to make sure they have all the data before to make a final decision. .
Pharmaceutical Moderna, a leading maker of covid vaccines, applied to the FDA in late April to license its vaccine for use in children under the age of 6, which the company says “will be able to to keep them safe.” children against SARS-CoV-2”.
With information from EFE
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