tv White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing CSPAN March 1, 2021 8:43pm-9:19pm EST
[background noises] [background noises] >> the white house covid-19 response team held a briefing focusing on the newly approved johnson & johnson single shot vaccine. other issues focused on wait time for appointments to get tax needed and questions on whether the cdc will release guidance on what people can do once they are vaccinated, specifically traveling and social gathering. >> good morning and the key for joining us. we've got very good news over the weekend. the food and drug administration issued an emergency use authorization for a third safe
and effective vaccine. the johnson & johnson vaccine which will help us beat this pandemic. while we have much more work ahead of us on so many fronts this is certainly a very encouraging development. today we will get a state of the pandemic update from the doctor. doctor anthony fauci and doctor nunez will discuss the recently approved j&j vaccine and i will update on the distribution of the vaccine and then we will open it up to questions but with that i will turn it over to the doctor. >> thank you, i'm delighted to be back with you today. let's get started with the currency of the pandemic. i remain deeply concerned about the potential shift in the trajectory of the pandemic. the latest cdc data continues to suggest that the recent declines have leveled off at a very high number. the most recent seven day average of cases approximately
67200 represent an increase of a little over 2% compared to the prior seven days. similarly the most recent seven day average has also increased more than 2% from the previous seven days. to nearly 2000 deaths per day. these data are evidence that declines to be stalling. stalling at over 70000 cases a day and with these new statistics i am really worried about reports of the more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from covid-19. i understand the temptation to do this and 70000 cases a day seems good compared to where we were just a few months ago but we cannot be resigned to 70000 cases a day. 2000 deaths. please hear me clearly. at this level of cases with
variance spreading we can't completely lose the hard earned ground we have built. these variants are a real threat to our people and our progress. now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of covid-19 in our community, not when we are so close. we have the ability to stop the variance in the country. please, stay strong in your convictions, continue wearing your masks and taking the other public-health prevention actions that we know work. ultimately, vaccination is what will bring us out of this pandemic and to get there we need to vaccinate many more people. yesterday cdc advisory committee on immunization practices endorse the safety and efficacy of janssens covid-19 vaccine. after the aci met i was heartened to find their recommendations for use of this vaccine and people 18 years or
older. this means we now have three base and effective vaccines that prevent hospitalization and death from covid-19. importantly, a cit does not state a preference for a particular covid-19 vaccine rather they recommend that individuals can get any of the aci recommended covid vaccines and they encourage individuals to receive the earliest vaccine available to them. the jansen vaccine is a much needed addition to our toolbox and increases the number of vaccine doses available and makes it possible for people to get or for more people to get vaccinated and protected from covid-19. it also offers several benefits. it's a single-dose vaccine that provides covid-19 protections with just one shot. that can helpfully vaccinate people who have difficulties or who are not interested in returning for a second dose. for those administering the vaccine this vaccine is used to
store and transport because it does not need to be kept in a freezer. this will make it easier to provide vaccines to more communities and mobile sites. having multiple types of vaccine available especially ones with different dosing regimens and different storing and handling offers more flexibility. for example, mass vaccination sites do not have freezer capacities may be able to use the jansen vaccine increasing access to more communities. i know that many americans look forward to rolling up their sleeves with confidence as soon as the covid vaccine is available to them. we are working hard to get and attribute the vaccines to your community. i also know that some people may not be there today and may still of questions about the vaccines including wanting more information about the process for developing and that is natural. i know that some people have experiences that may diminish their confidence in the health
system and that's also understandable. i want to emphasize several important facts about the vaccines. we have conducted the largest scale clinical trial of any vaccine and what made that possible so quickly was the height community and that so many people were interested in participating. all of the available data shows that the vaccines are safe and highly effective and over 100,000 people participate in clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and have all met rigorous fda standards. equally and importantly as of today nearly 60 million people in the united states have received one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. we have put into place the most intense vaccine safety monitoring systems in u.s. history and actively monitoring for any safety. cdc smart phone based health
checker has now enrolled approximately one half million people to capture patient report and side effects in real time. some people have no side effects after vaccination and many people have it recorded mild side effects like pain, injection sites and chills and fever and these are common with all vaccines and should it go away after a day or so. serious, general reversible remain rare. for those that have questions about the vaccine i encourage you to visit the website for more information. our decisions today and the unified nation and as individuals including when and where to get vaccinated will determine how quickly we can stop this pandemic and wildlife will look like in the coming months ahead. the most important thing you can do is to be ready to get the vaccine that is available to you.
it will help protect us all from covid-19. thank you and i look forward to your questions and with that i will turn it over to doctor anthony fauci. >> thank you very much, doctor. i will talk a little bit more now about the covid vaccine. if i could have that first slide print let's move on to the second slide. we get questions and just move on to the second slide but we get questions regarding the various percentage numbers the people see and i know most of you are aware of them but let me just clarify a few things. the 66% vaccine efficacy that we have is really against all of the countries involved and you must be called that this vaccine trial was done on three continents, united states, south america and south africa. this had varying degrees of infection dynamics as well as varying strains, variance or
lineages. that is the 66%. the 72% is the vaccine efficacy against moderate to severe critical infections in the united states. i want to point out again a question we often get asked. in order to try we always say what vaccine is better than the other vaccine in order to determine that you would have to compare them head to head and this was not done and we have three highly efficacious vaccines that are also as, the doctor says, have a very good safety profile, a very important number that i want to reemphasize is that this 85% efficacy against severe covid 19 globally including the united states and this is very important because if you look at other countries such as south africa and if you go to the next slide where you have the b1 531
you can see that the efficacy against severe critical disease was 82% there and that is really very important because even though the vaccine itself, the spike protein that was used and expressed in that vaccine was the spike protein against wild type virus, namely the virus that is the d614g, not against the b1 351 so even though the vaccine itself was not specifically directed against those variance and did extremely well when it came to preventing severe critical disease and as we heard many times now there were no hospitalizations or deaths in any of those studies next slide. i want to spend a minute now telling you the difference between the mrna and the ad 26
because we often get asked that question and as we said on previous briefings the mrna that is injected into the muscle codes for the spike protein in the proper configuration and the body sees that and makes an immune response against that, giving you the protection that has been shown with both of the mrna vaccine. next slide. in contrast, the johnson covid vaccine approach is to take a common cold, harmless, non- replication competent virus called ad 26 in which the dna of the sars a spike in search was given into the genome and that virus is then injected into an individual and the dna then transcribes the rna and the rna then gives you the spike and the
ultimate endgame is that both of the viruses or excuse me, both of the vaccines ultimately result in a spike protein and in the right confirmation that gives the body the opportunity to feel that this is the actual virus that it is the scene when it is not and it is the protein. next slide. and so, just to put everything into perspective we have shown this slide before and we now have again the third vaccine that is highly efficacious and shown here which has been granted an eua that has been described by the doctor. let me go to the last slide and make a comment that i think people do not seem to appreciate and it has to do with what goes into making these vaccines successful. i have as a title of the slide the role of the nih in the u.s.
government and the development and testing of j&j. i think what people don't appreciate is that there have been decades of investment in basic preclinical and clinical research to actually develop the added 26 vector and a lot of work done by doctor dan be up at harvard. the development of the stabilized pre- fusion spike protein was done by scientists at the nia at the vaccine research center. the utilization by j&j of the extensive domestic and international clinical trial network that was established for actually for hiv and influenza. also, the defendant at the ht vn at the fred hutchinson cancer research center performed all the immunological testing. the data and safety monitoring board was established by an aig and an extensive support from
barter to conduct the trial and the prepurchase hundreds of millions of dollars for the vaccines by barter. it's a competent process so even though it looks like it was quick and done in a very relatively short time it was a lot of effort, including fundamental basic preclinical and clinical research that went into that. i will stop there and handed over to doctor nunez smith. >> thanks so much, doctor anthony fauci. this is all very good news. all three vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing what we care about most and that is the serious illness and death. all of the authorized vaccines will be distributed across states and jurisdictions and across all of our federal vaccination channels. that does not mean that every vaccination site will have every vaccine but it means that all vaccines will reach all communities.
all three authorized vaccines available in the suburbs, all three available in the cities and all three available in the coast and the heartland. i want to briefly talk about some of the clinical benefits of the j&j vaccine from a healthcare provider perspective. having these different types of vaccines available for use, one that have different storage requirements, different handling requirements, different doses recommendations and that will bring more options and more flex ability to healthcare providers. it could absolutely allow for expanded availability of vaccines and in some temporary clinics some pop-up mobile sites and those locations that do not have cold storage capacity. overall increase vaccine supply creates greater opportunity for people to get vaccinated. we also recognize individuals may have a preference for a single dose vaccine so those who do not want to return for a second dose or who would have difficulty returning for a second dose.
we understand that. still, as a physician i strongly urge everyone in america to get the first vaccine that is available to you when it is your turn. if people want to opt for one vaccine over the other, time is of the essence in getting vaccinated saves lives. no doubt communities across the country have been devastated by this pandemic in the vaccines and the vaccinations are critical tools in bringing this unprecedented pandemic to an end. and now we have three. so, for that, in addition to the scientists, i want to think the clinical trial participants for their contributions to scientific discovery. for this vaccination campaign to be successful vaccines will have to reach everyone and so kudos to those states and jurisdictions who already are working closely with trusted leaders in the hardest hit communities to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccination. this is best practice.
again, all three vaccines have been proven safe, highly effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death from covid in 19 after full immunity. it i've fight to the people with one message it would be this, get vaccinated. the first vaccine available to you, protect yourself, your family and your community from covid-19. with that, i will turn it over to you. ...
3.9 million doses of johnson & johnson and also to pharmacies and community health centers. johnson & johnson dozes will be delivered as early as tomorrow. for allocating the vaccine the exact same way we allocate pfizer and with a state chelation. for example if the state represents 2% of the u.s. population, it receives approximately 2% of the pfizer allocation and will now receive 2% of the change that is made to the states, tribes and territories. we've directed states to manage distribution of all three vaccines in a fair and equitable way. and we will continue to monitor that closely. as part of that work, the cdc is
tracking distribution of the vaccines across a range of equity metrics including zip codes and social vulnerability index data. we have three very effective vaccines in all communities should have equitable and even access to each vaccine. as to the expected supply of johnson & johnson vaccine this weekend will be 3.9 million doses. that's the entirety of johnson & johnson's current inventory. we are getting these dozes out the door right away to ensure the vaccines get into arms as quickly as possible. johnson & johnson indicated the supply would be limited for the next couple of weeks following this initial distribution of the 4 million doses. the company then expects to deliver approximately 16 million
additional doses by the end of march. however, as we have discussed with federal partners, we know the distribution and delivery will be uneven across these early weeks in march. the company expects the delivery to be predominantly in the back half of the month. overall on the vaccine, we've done the planning and we have the distribution channels in place and we are getting dozes out the door as quickly as possible to get shots in arms. so we are focused on execution and that includes the important work to ensure that we continue to increase overall vaccine supply, increase the number of vaccinate her's and increase the number of places americans can get vaccinated. next i want to provide an update on the doses administered. as you can see on the weekly
vaccination report, the current seven day average is 1.7 million shots per day. given that the first couple of days in this seven day period included the storm and hacked, 1.7 million actually understates the current pace. over the weekend, we experienced record levels of daily vaccinations. that said, we have much more to do on all fronts and the war on the pandemic. there is a path out of the pandemic but how quickly we exit the crisis depends on all of us and that's why i encourage everyone to take the advice of doctor zelensky, fauci follow the public health guidance, get vaccinated when it is your turn and continue to wear masks and social distance to protect yourself and fellow americans. we will continue doing everything we can in the federal government to defeat this virus
but it will take all of us stepping up to do our part. and with that, let's open up for questions. >> a reminder to please keep your questions to one question only. first from elizabeth at usa today. >> thank you so much for taking my question. you didn't say how many doses are being shipped this week. i think usually you have that. my question however is appointment systems seem to be the factor getting people vaccinated and in some cases it's frustrating people who are not coming back because they couldn't get through. our states moving to phase 13 and b and we get more eligible, how is the system going to help and what are you doing to strengthen it? >> the number of doses is 3.9 million, so that's the entire inventory and all of those are being shipped this
week. i think scheduling an appointment is too difficult and remains too difficult into many places. in some states or locales, things have gotten better. the pharmacy systems are often better at scheduling appointments. but overall, too many americans are suffering frustration, taking up way too much time to schedule an appointment and we have addressed some of those root causes as we have increased the vaccine supply as we put more vaccinate her's in the field and increase the number of places. but now we need to make sure the systems can handle not only the current demand, but the projected demand for people being vaccinated so we are working with states to improve their sites so they can handle the capacity. we are also looking at lower solutions the federal government might be able to provide whether it is call centers for people to
help navigate the system. i think overall, scheduling remains for far too many people to frustrating and we need to make it better. next question. >> next we will go to william with ws aa dallas. >> thank you for taking my question. this has to do with speed to at least here in dallas fort worth, the gap between the vaccinations in the fluent zip codes is actually getting worse. so, how specifically are you writing your self when it comes to equity and what is that grade right now? >> doctor nunez-smith? >> the statistics that you share are very concerning to us. we know we still have a challenge in terms of data, the data quality isn't exactly where we would like them to be as far
as race ethnicity but even the data that we have suggests this pattern. we are already in the federal programs prioritizing equity. we've been committed to this from the beginning in the launch of the programs. using metrics such as the social vulnerability to help guide where the resources should go. ultimately, we do believe people should be vaccinated at the rate and the group should be vaccinated at the rate in their population, and that's our target and our goal. we are already working mostly with states to provide technical assistance where needed and we will continue to do so. >> i think that she captured it well. i will add the president has been crystal clear that as important as speed and efficiency, equity and fairness are as important and we need to make sure we execute a strategy that ensures equity and
fairness. >> next question will go to lori garrett. >> sorry, had a moment of un- muting. thank you very much. i have a question regarding the variance and this is both for doctor fauci and willensky. we have a new york variant that went from 0.2% of identified in early november to now 28% in new york and it seems to have arisen in hiv-aids patients indicating the possibility that we could see variance arriving at highly suppressed individuals. and they are warning that it may be colonizing nasal cells with very high like tenfold affinity to the a2 receptors and that is pretty privileged in terms of neutralizing antibodies. so i wonder, my question is how worried should we be about this
particular variant, and is it possible that vaccinated and covid surviving individuals who have neutralizing antibodies in their systems could still harbor and colonize and transmit from their noses to other individuals. thank you. >> let's start with doctor fauci. >> we certainly are taking the new york variant, the five to six very seriously. as you know, it started off in what is likely in the washington heights section and has gone through multiple boroughs and is now gaining. work done by david has shown we have to keep an eye on it for its ability to invade antibodies and to a certain extent the vaccine induced antibodies, so it's something we take very, very seriously. the idea about the accessibility of antibodies is a good point.
it's theoretical, but it can be a real issue. i'm sure that's going to be something that's going to be looked at and studied about the degree of not only of the viral load but also the persistence of the viral load in the nasal fairing. so, good points. all unknown right now but it's something we will be looking at very carefully. >> doctor willensky, anything to add? >> studies show the variance could emerge and go to compromising hosts as well and it's the reason to decrease in the community and as well as individuals. >> i think it's important because we are often asked the question and it's reasonable should people who are immunocompromised get vaccinated and the answer is absolutely yes because that's not only important for them for their own
health, but that could be the breeding ground of the emergence of variance for the simple reason that if you don't clear the virus up rapidly, you will have immunological selection in a given individual and as it was said correctly, that is probably how all this started with five to six. >> next question will go to jeremy dimond at cnn. >> thanks for taking the question. sorry, let me mute this. i'm hoping you could address some of the concerns that the more easily deployable nature of the johnson & johnson backs the nation will make it the go to for the marginalized and harder to reach communities. i know you said that something you are monitoring and want to distribute equitably but beyond monitoring, what more can the administration due to not only avoid the perception that you
have different vaccines for different classes of americans but also to make sure you are getting the most bang from your book from an epidemiological perspective even in the limited supplies. >> doctor nunez-smith? >> thank you for the question. we shouldn't lose sight of the good news that we have. we have three authorized vaccines. that is tremendous. we do expect that they will be distributed for all communities to benefit. there are critical benefits to johnson & johnson that we talked about briefly in terms of the cold storage capacity single-dose. that might make it very useful for healthcare providers in their toolkit as they think about things like pop-ups but overall, we do think that the distribution again should be even across communities. so importantly, providing that guidance up front.
we are modeling that within the federal program. and then as we said we will be tracking the biometrics such as the zip code and vulnerabilities to see where the vaccines are going and should certain vaccines go consistently to certain communities, we will be able to intervene and able to provide support and technical assistance to pivot and intervene and correct if needed. >> last question at the associated press. >> thank you for taking the call. to follow up on what was just said what would that intervention look like and would that be in the states allocation and more broadly, what is the current timetable in terms of federal guidance on what people who have been vaccinated can and should do is it safe for them to go out to dinner, can they start
to travel and are you worried they will delay getting that downward pressure on the demand? >> i will go first and then over to the doctors. if we were to see vaccines were going to certain communities, we would take action as was said to ensure supplies is distributed evenly and first actions would include the communication of the standards and insistence people adhere to the standards and then we would provide technical assistance to the state or other providers. second question over to you, doctor fauci. >> this is something that the medical team talks about all the time. ultimately the cdc will be coming out within a reasonable period of time and i will let her give you that time frame in a moment. i've been asked and i've said publicly that as we get more and
more people vaccinated, the logical question though was just asked is an important question and that is what happens if you get so many vaccinated people with the pfizer and moderna, for example, members of the family, people coming in like i used the example of a daughter coming in from out of town who was double vaccinated and a husband and wife double vaccinated and may e a next-door neighbor. small gatherings in the home i think you can feel the relative risk is so low you wouldn't have to wear a mask and you could have a good social gathering within the home. beyond that, it is going to be based on the combination of data and modeling and common sense. the cdc is working on that right now and we will all be together with a good message hopefully
soon. why don't you take it from there. a. >> i don't have much to add other than we are looking at the guidance to release it soon. at the same time, and i would agree with everything said. i want to keep our eye on the fact that we are increasing right now. the goal isn't to open up travel or things because we are scaling up vaccinations. the goal in that first hundred days has always been to make sure that we are in a place to stay out of the pandemic and so many thousands of cases per day we are not in that right now. while we may have guidance at the individual level -- and doctor fauci suggested -- we need to keep our eye on the fact we are not out of the woods yet. >> the environment has we just mentioned the setting in the home of the small group of
people getting together all of whom are vaccinated is very different when you step out of the door and go into a society that has 70,000 new infections per day. so amen to what doctor walensky just said. >> i want to thank everybody for joining today and we will be back together on wednesday. thank you. >> at the white house president biden met virtually with mexican president to discuss immigration issues and other shared interests between the u.s. and