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Pandemic

U.S. falls short of Biden’s July 4 COVID-19 vaccine goal

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The United States is still a million shots away from President Biden’s original goal of having 70% of American adults at least one dose of. receive COVID-19 Vaccine by July 4th, a milestone White House officials have recognized At the end of last month which they would likely miss by at least a couple of weeks.

Now that some of the White House’s most cited vaccination incentives are ditched, from discounted Uber rides to free childcare, the Biden government faces an uphill battle to increase vaccination rates, which have slowed to a pace that hasn’t been seen since the end of last year.

The Centers for Disease Control announced Friday that over 172 million Americans, or approximately 67% of the adult population, had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 156 million received both doses, or about 47%.

“I’ve been through several major crises now. And you are setting yourself these goals because they force you and everyone to focus very, very on what is most important,” says Andy Slavitt, once a key advisor to the COVID-19 team has now published a new book “Preventable” about the country’s pandemic response.

Vaccination efforts continue across Los Angeles

A sign displays the types of COVID-19 vaccination doses available at a Walgreens mobile bus clinic in Los Angeles, California on June 25, 2021. The United States will miss President Joe Biden’s goal of delivering at least one coronavirus vaccine dose to 70 percent of adults by the July 4th holiday.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Slavitt paid tribute to Mr Biden’s public goals and an accompanying flurry of initiatives to raise awareness of the shots even if the President missed the Independence Day goal.

“In a kind of crisis response, you have a very limited ability to test without wasting valuable time. So the playbook in a crisis is actually to try everything, even if you can’t necessarily assign actions, then do the best you can to take things apart, “said Slavitt.

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According to figures published by the CDC, fewer than 300,000 first doses are currently administered on average in the US each day. When Mr Biden announced his goal on May 4, the country was averaging more than 820,000 first doses a day – almost what it would have taken to reach 70% at the time.

Following the president’s announcement in May, the Biden administration launched a series of new efforts to expand access to the once scarce shots. A growing proportion of the country’s vaccine supply has been diverted from mass vaccination centers to smaller clinics and roaming vaccination teams. Stores in the state pharmacy program have boosted vaccinations in communities hard hit by COVID-19 deaths and now account for about a third of the vaccines shipped to many states.

Soon White House officials were also aggressively promoting a website, hotline, and text messaging service to help Americans easily find available footage near them. This tool has been used over 25 million times, one of the top developers on the Vaccine Finder site recently said.

The expansion of access to the vaccinations coincided with a spate of new incentives touted by federal health officials for Americans to get a vaccination for COVID-19 after surveys suggested many unvaccinated Americans were too busy to get the vaccinations gotten or felt they didn’t need them.

Some came in the form of high-profile lotteries and giveaways from states that the Biden government said would allow governors to use federal COVID-19 aid dollars to pay. Another incentive was the widespread removal of the mask requirement for fully vaccinated Americans in most settings and the expanded approval of the Pfizer vaccine in adolescents.

President Biden attends the White House naturalization ceremony

Jamaican immigrant Sandra Lindsay will receive the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Outstanding Citizen By Choice Award from US President Joe Biden during a citizenship ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 2, 2021 in Washington, DC

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

But while the pace of first doses rose in the days following these announcements, until June – when the Biden government began its “month of action” to use door-to-door advertising and other campaign-like tactics to promote vaccination – the nationwide sliding one Average was in free fall again.

Efforts to build confidence in the vaccines, such as the COVID-19 Community Corps, which sought to recruit local leaders and health care providers to raise concerns about the emergency shots approved by the Food and Drug Administration, came across the, what one hired federal health officials described as “committed opposition”.

A large chunk of those who argue about vaccinations told pollsters that if they had to go back to their normal lives, such as flying on an airplane or attending large gatherings, they would be more likely to get the injections. But few companies are able to do more than superficial checks to verify that customers are fully vaccinated, which is thwarted by a patchwork system of vaccination protocols ill equipped to assist so-called “vaccine passports” for reopening in many states.

Now the biggest vaccination gap remains among younger Americans: Less than half of 18- to 24-year-olds have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC’s record.

Although faster-spreading mutant variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have generated stern warnings from health officials in recent months, only about 26% of adults under 40 years of age surveyed by the CDC did not plan to do so vaccinated said they were concerned about the COVID-19 infection.

“If you were in that category of younger people or on the fence, if you didn’t feel any urgency before, you felt even less urgency now,” Slavitt said, noting that the government was “to some extent” sacrifice to our own success. “

In the meantime, there could be a great opportunity within the next month to allay a common problem among the unvaccinated – and pave the way for many employers and schools that want to require the vaccinations: the full approval of a COVID-19 vaccine the FDA.

Pfizer announced in early May that the company had begun its biologics filing to seek full FDA approval. Moderna followed suit at the beginning of June.

Although the process for full approval typically takes around 8 months to complete, FDA senior vaccine officials have said that regulatory agency processed these types of applications in just a few months amid previous outbreaks, and was hoping to be “as good or better here.” “. . “

“Since they are already under emergency clearance in this case and most of the additional information we receive is safety data and manufacturing information, we intend to expedite this review,” said Dr. FDA’s Peter Marks told Endpoints News in April.

“In previous public health emergencies, such as the 2014 meningococcal B outbreak, we were able to overcome these BLAs in about 3-4 months,” added Marks.

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Pandemic

Alaska, overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, adopts crisis standards for hospitals

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Health care workers vaccinate tribal and non-tribal patients at the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, March 30, 2021. Image taken March 30, 2021. REUTERS / Nathan Howard

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Sept. 22 (Reuters) – Alaska, which led most states in coronavirus vaccinations months ago, took the drastic step of rolling out crisis standards across its hospital system on Wednesday, declaring a stifling surge in COVID-19 patients have forced rationing of strained medical resources.

Governor Mike Dunleavy and health officials announced the move as the number of newly confirmed cases across the state hit another daily record of 1,224 patients amid a wave of infections fueled by the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant among the unvaccinated.

The delta variant “paralyzes our health system. It affects everything from heart attacks to strokes to our children when they have a bicycle accident, ”said Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, at a news conference with Dunleavy.

Idaho, another of several largely rural states where COVID-19 cases have overwhelmed healthcare systems in recent weeks, activated its own crisis care standards across the country last Thursday, spearheading a surge in hospital admissions that “depleted existing resources has exhausted “.

Alaska’s health and welfare officer, Adam Crum, announced that he has signed an Emergency Amendment at the state’s largest hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, which extends to all state standards of emergency care.

The new document limits the liability of emergency medical care providers in all hospitals in Alaska.

It also recognizes the realities of rationed care across the country, prioritizing scarce medical care and staffing so that some patients are denied normal care for the benefit of others, based on how ill they are and their chance of recovery.

For example, some seriously ill patients have had to be treated outside of the intensive care units they would normally be admitted to, Zink said.

“Nursing has shifted in Alaska’s hospitals. The previous standard of care can no longer be provided on a regular basis. It’s been happening for weeks, “Zink told reporters.

To cope with the influx of COVID-19, Alaska has signed a $ 87 million contract to hire hundreds of overseas health workers, officials said.

About a fifth of Alaska’s hospital patients are infected with COVID-19, according to state data. But that number undervalues ​​the burden on the system as a whole as it “squeezes out” the ability to treat victims of automobile accidents, strokes, heart attacks and other ailments, Dunleavy said.

Paradoxically, as early as April, Alaska was among the top states to get COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of residents, aided in large part by the efforts of the state’s pandemic-aware indigenous people. Continue reading

Alaska has since fallen below the national average, with only 58% of residents 12 and older being fully vaccinated, according to the state database. The vaccination slump coincided with significant political opposition to public health demands.

In May, voters in Anchorage, the state’s largest city, elected a new mayor, Dave Bronson, who campaigned against health mandates and repeatedly voiced his refusal to be vaccinated. Dunleavy has spoken out against any vaccine mandate.

At Wednesday’s press conference, the Republican governor defended his positions, citing Alaska’s third-lowest rate of COVID-19 deaths per capita in the nation.

Reporting by Yereth Rosen in Anchorage, Alaska; Adaptation by Steve Gorman and Christopher Cushing

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Pandemic

FACT SHEET: Targets for Global COVID-19 Summit

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We invite all participants of the Global COVID-19 Summit to align with us on the global goals and to take the associated necessary measures to end the COVID-19 pandemic and build it better. These global goals and the related actions by governments, international institutions and the private sector are based on the goals set by the Multilateral Leaders Task Force on COVID-19, the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) accelerator, the G20, the G7 and members of several expert commissions.

These goals and the associated measures are ambitious – but they are what we need to get on track to end this pandemic and with it the risk it poses to our countries, communities, health and livelihoods. We must act now to vaccinate the world, save lives and build better things. Only if we work together on a shared vision can we defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and help prepare the world for future pandemics.

We also invite all attendees to join in to monitor our progress together. By gathering information about what each of us is doing, we can measure our progress and take the necessary steps to avoid falling behind.

OBJECTIVES: VACCINATION OF THE WORLD

  • Vaccinate the world: Support the WHO’s goal of ensuring that at least 70 percent of the population in every country and in every income bracket are fully vaccinated with high-quality, safe and effective vaccines by UNGA 2022.
  • Deliver cans urgently: Support the G20 goal of “in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) we support the goal of vaccinating at least 40 percent of the world’s population by the end of 2021”.
  • Making cans in the medium and long term: Additional doses and adequate supplies will be available to all countries in 2022. As the scientific evidence progresses, allocate sufficient funding to produce additional doses for future booster needs in LIC / LMIC.

Asks about governments and international institutions with the appropriate skills: autumn 2021

  • Close the funding and coverage gap for Low Income Countries (LICs) / Low Middle Income Countries (LMICs) for 70 percent coverage by funding, purchasing, or donating an additional 1 billion doses of high quality, safe, and effective COVID-19 vaccines, including through COVAX, to support equitable distribution worldwide.
  • Speed ​​up LIC / LMIC vaccination in 2021 by ordering. accelerate Approx. 2.0 billion doses of high-quality, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that have already been promised, including by converting existing promises to split doses into short-term deliveries, exchanging delivery dates to ensure earlier delivery of doses to LIC / LMICs, and removing cross-border bottlenecks in the supply of vaccines and critical inputs.
  • Get Shots in the Arms by providing at least $ 3 billion in 2021 and $ 7 billion in 2022 to fund LIC / LMICs for vaccine readiness and effective use, including supporting the health workforce required to deliver vaccines, combating hesitation, fulfilling legal and contractual requirements, and procuring relief supplies.
  • Make cans available in the medium and long term by supporting sufficient global and regional production, as well as financing possible refreshment needs and future vaccine production; Expansion of the production of mRNA, viral vectors and protein subunits of vaccines (if approved) and technology transfer; and the procurement of up to 3 billion additional doses of high quality, safe and effective vaccines against LIC / LMICs if booster vaccination is recommended by the WHO.
  • Improve accountability and coordination by establishing a robust global dashboard for vaccines, consumables and excipients in 2021, taking into account ongoing efforts to achieve that goal.

Proposed private sector commitments: autumn 2021

  • Start the COVID-19 Corps for Vaccine Readiness and Delivery.
  • Improve transparency on the volume of actual and expected vaccine manufacturing; Provide production forecast and delivery sequence data to the vaccine dashboard to prioritize delivery for LIC / LMICs.
  • Expand global and regional manufacturing for mRNA, viral vector, and / or protein subunit COVID-19 vaccines with a plan for development and funding.

OBJECTIVES: SAVE LIVES NOW

  • Solve the oxygen crisis by making oxygen easily accessible to inpatient healthcare facilities in all countries at short notice and by 2022 at the latest.
  • Eliminate the test gap by achieving test rates of one per 1,000 people per day in all countries by the end of 2021.
  • Improve timely access for all countries to approved, safe and effective therapeutics by making them available to all LIC / LMICs in 2021 and effective new non-IV treatments available in 2022.
  • Development of capacities for the production of PPE for surges and strengthen the coordination of existing stocks to improve access to PPE for all LIC / LMIC healthcare workers in 2021, with excess capacity available for each region in 2022.
  • Improve the detection, monitoring and containment of new COVID-19 variants by improving genome sequencing and data sharing worldwide in 2021 and 2022.

Asks about governments and international institutions with the appropriate skills: autumn 2021

  • To provide $ 2 billion in coordinated support to oxygen ecosystems, including increasing the availability of bulk liquid oxygen in LIC / LMICs by 2022.
  • Fund at least 1 billion high quality, safe, and effective kits / tests for LIC / LMICs by 2022.
  • Donate and deliver $ 1 billion in sufficient courses of approved COVID-19 therapeutics for LIC / LMICs by 2022 and $ 2 billion in 2022 and establish a mechanism for the equitable procurement and delivery of therapeutics.
  • Support the development of capacities for the manufacture of PPE for surge protection and strengthen sales in all regions in 2022.
  • Advocate the G7 / S7 Carbis Bay Declaration to enhance global variant tracking and analysis capabilities by providing resources for expanded global capabilities and supporting the concept of a global pandemic radar.

Proposed private sector commitments: autumn 2021

  • Working with countries and international institutions, develop and fund a $ 2 billion global strategy to support oxygen ecosystems, including the provision of bulk liquid oxygen and other support to inpatient facilities in all countries by the end of 2022.
  • Improve test production by making test kits available in LIC / LMIC for no more than $ 1 per antigen kit.
  • Expand production and provide approved therapeutics for 12 million severe and critical patients.
  • Promote advanced development, including clinical trials and voluntary technology transfer

for next generation COVID-19 therapeutics (ideally oral) for resource poor environments.

  • Commit to bringing together global stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society, who are dedicated to building and coordinating transformative capabilities for global variant tracking.

OBJECTIVES: BETTER REDUCTION

  • Create sustainable health security funding by establishing and funding a Global Health Security Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) in 2021.
  • Catalyze political leadership and awareness of biological crises, including by setting up a management level body such as the Global Health Threats Council (GHTC) in 2021.
  • Support the G20 Presidency’s call for a global council of health and finance ministers.

Asks about governments and international institutions with the appropriate skills: autumn 2021

  • At least 30 countries and at least 10 organizations will sign a global health security FIF with a common vision in terms of size, amount of start-up funding (e.g. USD 10 billion) and hosting (e.g. World Bank).
  • Announcing commitments in 2021 to saturate FIF for urgent preparedness needs, with concrete proposals for medium-term sustainable funding that include sources outside of ODA.
  • Surge production commitments and resilient supply chains for PPE, tests, therapeutics and vaccines in all regions.
  • Work on establishing a leadership body like the GHTC in 2021, including designating a chair and co-chair.

Proposed private sector commitments: autumn 2021

  • Individuals or organizations pledge contributions to FIF and launch a “challenge” that brings the non-governmental sector together to sustainably support global health security.
  • Individuals or organizations call together individuals and charities to set up their own mutual fund that feeds the FIF.
  • Individuals or organizations urge governments to set up a GHTC at the political level, which should include seats for civil society, the private sector and / or experts.

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Pandemic

Biden doubles Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine purchase to 1 billion doses, will share with world

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(AP) – President Joe Biden will announce that the United States will double its purchase of Pfizer’s COVID-19 syringes to share with the world to 1 billion doses as he aims to reach 70 over the next several years % of the world population vaccinated year.

The increased US engagement is said to be the cornerstone of the global vaccination summit, which Biden is practically meeting on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, where he wants to get wealthy nations to do more to get the coronavirus under control.

“Our city has let us down”: The city of Georgetown will not punish the Ponderosa Pet Resort for operating it without a kennel permit

Leading politicians, aid agencies and global health organizations are getting louder and louder about the slow pace of global vaccination and unfair access to vaccination between residents of wealthy and poor nations.

The U.S. purchase will bring the total U.S. vaccination requirement to more than 1.1 billion doses by 2022, according to two senior Biden government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview Biden’s statements. At least 160 million vaccinations have been delivered by the US and distributed in more than 100 countries, which is more donations than the rest of the world combined.

The latest purchase reflects only a fraction of what it takes to meet the goal of vaccinating 70% of the world’s population – and 70% of the citizens of every nation – by the next UN meeting in September. It is a goal driven by global aid groups that Biden will use his weight to achieve.

The White House said Biden will use the summit to urge other countries to “commit to higher ambitions” in their vaccine exchange plans, including specific challenges they face. Officials said the White House would publicly release the goals for wealthy nations and nonprofits after the summit concludes.

The American response has been criticized as being too modest, especially as the government advocates giving tens of millions of Americans booster vaccinations before vulnerable people in poorer countries have even received an initial dose.

“We have found that multilateralism has failed to respond in a fair and coordinated manner at the most pressing moments. The existing gaps between the nations in relation to the vaccination process are unknown, ”said Colombian President Iván Duque on Tuesday before the United Nations.

In the past year, more than 5.9 billion doses of COVID-19 were administered worldwide, which is about 43% of the world’s population. But there are big differences in the distribution, as many lower-income countries have difficulty vaccinating even the weakest part of their population, and some vaccination rates are still above 2-3%.

In remarks to the United Nations on Tuesday, Biden acknowledged that he had shared more than 160 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with other countries, including 130 million excess doses and the first installments of more than 500 million vaccinations that the US had for the rest USA buy world.

Other leaders made it clear in advance that this was not enough.

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera said the “triumph” of rapid vaccine development was offset by a political “failure” that led to an unjust distribution. “In science there was cooperation; in politics, individualism. In science there was common information; in politics, reserve. Teamwork dominated in science; in politics, isolated effort, ”said Piñera.

The World Health Organization says only 15% of promised vaccine donations – from rich countries that have access to large quantities – have been delivered. The UN health agency has announced that countries will meet their commitment to split the dose “immediately” by providing syringes for programs that benefit poor countries, especially Africa.

COVAX, the UN-supported program for sending vaccines to all countries, struggled with production problems, supply bottlenecks and an almost strained market position for vaccines by wealthy nations.

WHO has asked vaccine-making companies to prioritize COVAX and publish their delivery schedules. It has also appealed to wealthy countries to avoid widespread adoption of booster vaccinations so that the doses can be made available to health workers and vulnerable people in developing countries. Such calls were largely ignored.

COVAX has missed almost all of its vaccine-sharing goals. Managers have also cut their ambitions to ship vaccines by the end of this year, from an original target of about 2 billion doses worldwide to now 1.4 billion doses. Even this brand could be overlooked.

As of Tuesday, COVAX had shipped more than 296 million cans to 141 countries.

The global target of 70% is ambitious, not least because of the US experience.

Biden had set a goal of vaccinating 70% of the US adult population by July 4th, but continued reluctance to vaccinate helped the nation only achieve that goal a month later. Nearly 64% of the entire US population have received at least one dose and less than 55% are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

US officials hope to increase those numbers in the coming months, both by encouraging the use of vaccination regulations and vaccinating children, once regulators clear vaccination for the under-12 population.

Aid agencies have warned that the persistent inequalities could widen the global pandemic, leading to new and more dangerous varieties. The Delta variant, common in the US, has been shown to be more transmissible than the original strain, although the existing vaccines have prevented nearly all serious illnesses and deaths.

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Associated press writers Jamey Keaten in Geneva, Josh Boak at the United Nations and David Biller in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.

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