Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Politics

Biden administration warns second Covid-19 boosters won’t be readily available to general public without congressional funding

There will, however, be enough supply for seniors and immunocompromised Americans.

“We do have sufficient current inventory of vaccines, both at states and pharmacies and other access points around the country and in our central inventory for fourth doses if they’re called for this spring for our most vulnerable, including seniors,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said in response to a question from CNN during Wednesday’s briefing.

“Where we do not have sufficient doses is later in the year if the science dictates that all Americans should get a booster, or if there’s a need for a new formulation of the vaccine, a variant-specific vaccine, for example, then we will not have sufficient supply,” Zients added, calling the situation “completely unacceptable.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, suggested that second boosters could be authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration for the general public “toward the beginning of the fall” or “the end of the summer,” though he said a second booster could be authorized for a smaller subset, “perhaps elderly” Americans, in the coming weeks.

Congress remains at a stalemate over what the White House says are urgently needed additional funds for Covid-19 response. In recent weeks, the administration has been actively pushing back on criticism from some Republican lawmakers reluctant to spend more money on coronavirus response when there is still available money from last year’s Covid relief bill.
Ninety-three percent of the remaining money from the American Rescue Plan passed last year has been obligated or distributed to specific grantees or groups, including states and localities, according to a document sent by the Biden administration to lawmakers and obtained by CNN last week.

Zients said there is still sufficient supply “in the near term” for Americans who need their first dose, second dose or first booster.

Other top public health officials made similar warnings as the administration continued to urgently advocate for funding.

Fauci warned that the US “will not be able to continue to make these purchases” of monoclonal antibody treatments without continued funding.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called continued funding “critical.”

“If cases rise from the Omicron variant or any other variant, we have the tools — vaccines, boosters, tests and therapeutics to be prepared — but continued investment in these tools so that they are readily available when we need them remains critical,” she said. “From a public health standpoint, it is critical that we continue to provide people with the tools to keep them, their families, and their communities safe.”

Zients also warned that “failure to invest now will leave us with insufficient testing capacity and supply,” calling the consequences of congressional inaction “severe” and “immediate.”

Some of those immediate consequences that have already taken place, he said, include the “winding down” of funding to support uninsured Americans, as well as “fewer lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments being sent to states” and “fewer treatments available for the immunocompromised.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

United States

In a 62-to-37 vote, 12 Republicans joined Democrats to advance the Respect for Marriage Act, landmark legislation to provide federal protections for same-sex marriages....

United States

new video loaded: Watch Live: Biden Addresses U.N. General Assembly Recent episodes in Live Journalism TimesTalks ​ — live and video conversations between New...

Politics

On Friday, Willow’s crate was spotted being carried by a staff member from the White House residence to Marine One, the presidential helicopter that...

Politics

“As a teacher, I’ve imagined that scene in my own classroom, again and again,” said Biden during remarks at the National Parent Teachers Association’s...

Politics

Navarro is charged with contempt of Congress after failing to appear for testimony or turn over documents in the House select committee’s investigation. While...

Politics

The hearing, which had been scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed until next week, would feature former top Trump administration legal officials who stood...

Politics

Paladino, then a Buffalo school board member, was defending himself against allegations that previous comments he made were racist and said he cared about...

Politics

But there was a striking change from pre-2020 briefings: It touched on violent threats to election officials that stem from conspiracy theories about the...