With the rise of COVID-19 and vaccines off to a slow start, President-elect Joe Biden will swiftly roll out most available vaccine doses to protect more people, his office said Friday, a reversal of administration policies. Trump.
“The president-elect believes that we must accelerate the distribution of the vaccine while continuing to ensure that the Americans who need it most get it as soon as possible,” spokesman TJ Ducklo said in a statement.
Biden “supports the immediate release of available doses and believes that the government should stop withholding the vaccine supply so that we can get more injections into the arms of Americans now.”
Biden’s plan isn’t about cutting two-dose vaccines in half, a strategy leading government scientists don’t recommend.
Instead, it would speed up the delivery of the first doses and use the levers of government power to provide the required second doses in a timely manner.
The Trump administration has been withholding millions of doses of vaccine to ensure that people can receive a second injection, which provides maximum protection against COVID-19.
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require a second injection after the first vaccine. Single-shot vaccines are still being tested.
A recent scientific analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine estimated that a “flexible” approach roughly analogous to what Mr. Biden is talking about could prevent an additional 23% to 29% of COVID-19 cases compared to the “fixed” strategy the Trump administration follows.
That is assuming a constant supply of vaccine.
After a glimmer of hope when the first vaccines were approved last month, the country’s vaccination campaign is off to a slow start.
Of the 21.4 million doses distributed, about 5.9 million, or just under 28 percent, have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Biden has already voiced his disgust at the advancement of vaccinations. In a speech last week, before Congress certified his electoral victory, the president-elect said he intends to accelerate vaccines by having the federal government take a stronger role in making sure that vaccines are not only available, but that the vaccines are working. In the arms of more Americans
“The Trump administration’s plan to distribute vaccines is lagging behind, far behind,” Biden said.
“If it continues to move as it is now, it will take years, not months, to vaccinate the American people.”
The American Hospital Association estimates that the nation would need to vaccinate 1.8 million people a day, every day, from January 1 to May 31, to reach the goal of generalized immunity by the summer. T
This is also called “herd immunity” and would involve vaccinating at least 75% of the population.
Without giving details, Biden said his administration will launch a much more aggressive vaccination campaign, with greater federal participation and leadership and a goal of administering 100 million injections in the first 100 days.
He said he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have been speaking with state and local leaders about a coordinated approach that ties together the efforts of governments at all levels.
Biden’s transition office said its experts believe that getting the vaccine available as quickly as possible will not create problems for people who need their second dose.
The United States surpassed 4,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for the first time, breaking a record set just a day earlier, with several Sun Belt states driving the rise.
The Johns Hopkins University tally showed the nation had 4,085 deaths Thursday, along with nearly 275,000 new cases of the virus – evidence that the crisis is worsening after family reunions and travel during the holidays and the onset of winter. that forces people to stay indoors. .
The deaths have reached epic proportions. Since Monday, the United States has recorded 13,500 deaths, more than Pearl Harbor, D-Day, September 11, and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake combined.
Britain, with a fifth of the U.S. population, also reported its highest one-day death toll so far on Friday: 1,325. That brings the country’s death toll to nearly 80,000, the highest in Europe.