As country wide ‘reported’ virus averages continue to drop by more that 30% for infection cases, and in more that 5% for deaths and hospital stays, and the vaccine rate moves towards 60%, healthcare experts turn what ‘they think’ should be the next moves for Americans….
Their views may not be embraced by the Biden admin and other politicians….
A vocal contingent of prominent doctors and scientists is pressing the Biden administration to scrap its plans to provide booster shots to all previously vaccinated adults, according to five people familiar with the matter.
Several of these outside experts, including some who advised President Joe Biden’s transition team, objected to the administration’s approach during a private, off-the-record call last week with federal health officials. Current U.S. data on vaccine performance does not justify using boosters widely to reduce the risk of breakthrough infections and slow the virus’ spread, the experts said.
They told officials on the Sept. 27 call — including Biden’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci; White House policy adviser Cameron Webb; and the heads of the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — that the shots should be given to people most at risk of severe Covid-19 to reduce hospitalizations and deaths.
The growing split between Biden’s team and outside health experts on boosters threatens to disrupt a key source of support the administration has relied on to sell its vaccination drive to the American public. Biden, who took office pledging to “follow the science,” until recently enjoyed the enthusiastic backing of eminent physicians and researchers as he attempted to crush Covid-19 and revive the U.S. economy. But the White House’s sweeping vision for boosters has weakened those ties….
Planning for the end of the Virus Healthcare Emergency….
The United States has been in a declared state of public health emergency since late January 2020, shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the nation’s first coronavirus case.
The public health emergency, which allows for emergency authorization of vaccines and deployment of the military trauma care providers, among other powers, has already been extended six times. It’s likely to remain in place at least through the end of 2021 — and possibly beyond. (States have their own emergency orders, although some have let them expire).
But at some point, the pandemic emergency — both in its legal designation and its intense impact on daily life — will have to end. The U.S. is learning to live with an endemic virus, albeit one whose worst effects are blunted by the protection of vaccines and prior immunity.
The Health 202 asked experts via email to reflect on the following questions:
- At what point will we be able to declare the state of public health emergency over?
- What indicator will tell us when we’ve reached that goal?
- When can we ease up on public health restrictions?
- Are there any restrictions that may stick around?