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tv   COVID-19 Response Coordinator on Vaccines for Four Year Olds Younger  CSPAN  June 3, 2022 1:20am-1:42am EDT

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they spoke during the national cannabis policy summit and were joined by journalists, industry stakeholders, and activists. topics included interstate commerce of cannabis, criminal justice reform, and the environmental impact of the cannabis industry. watch friday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span with our free video app, c-span now or online at c-span has unfiltered coverage of the u.s. response to russia's invasion of ukraine, bringing the latest from the president and other white house officials, the pentagon, and the state department, as well as congress. we also have international perspectives and statements from foreign leaders all on the c-span network. the c-span now free mobile app and our web resource page, where you can watch the latest videos on demand and follow tweets from
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journalists on the ground. go to >> white house covid-19 response team coordinator dr. jha says vaccines could go into the arms of children younger than five as early as june 21 if the fda approves a vaccine for children in that age group. the coordinator also talked about booster shots and the covid-19 outlook for fall and winter. dr. jha: good afternoon. good afternoon. today we have dr. jja, the white house covid coordinator, talk about vaccines. he's only going to be here about 10, 15 minutes with us. he will take a few questions and then we will start the briefing.
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we have a hard time out at 4:00 today. thanks everybody. dr. jha: good afternoon. thank you for having me. i'm sorry it is me and not bts. [laughter] dr. jha: i will take time today to explain the timeline of what is happening with vaccines for kids under five and what parents and pediatricians and americans should be expecting. as you all know, the fda is working through a rigorous and independent scientific process. the fda's advisory committee will be meeting june 14 and 15th. they'll review the data by pfizer and moderna for their vaccines and we expect an fda decision shortly after the advisory committee. we look forward to this process right now. as you all know because we have been through this many times, the fda authorization is not the final step.
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before vaccinations can begin, the cdc must issue its recommendations. if the fda authorizes the vaccines, the cdc will have its advisory committee meeting and ultimately the cdc director will make recommendations. we expect the cdc to make its advisory meetings public very soon. let's talk about what we know at this point. we know that many parents are eager to vaccinate their younger kids. it is important to do this right. that is what this process has been all about. so as i talk through the process today i want to be very clear that i'm not here to prejudge the outcome of the process. but the administration is hard at work planning all sorts of scenarios. based on whatever the outcome is. we have been working very closely with states, local health departments, pediatricians, family physicians , other health care providers,
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and pharmacies to get ready. we started with the playbook we have used for vaccines for other age groups. at the same time we are building this program to meet the specific needs of this specific age group. we expect the vast majority of these kids will be vaccinated by their primary care providers. now, if and when fda authorizes a vaccine, we will move from planning to execution. let me highlight what that will look like. the good news is we have plenty of supply of pfizer and moderna vaccine's to start our vaccination program and we are going to make 10 million doses available to states, pharmacies, and community health centers and federal entities to order initially. starting tomorrow states can begin to place orders. we have asked states to deliver the initial doses to highest
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priority sites including those serving the highest risk children and hardest to reach areas. we have also asked them to prioritize sites that can handle large volumes such as children's hospitals. we have encouraged states and providers to find ways to ensure parents have access to these vaccines are there kids outside of normal work hours because we want to make this as easy as possible for working parents. now, fda authorization will allow us to start shipping doses. these doses are specifically formulated for these young kids. these doses will be shipped to thousands of sites across the country. so let me go back and think through the timeline. we expect fda to make its decisions soon after the 14th and 15th. once the fda has authorized, if they have authorized vaccines, we can begin shipping. we expect some shipments to start arriving over that long
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weekend. remember, monday is an important federal holiday and many doctors offices will be closed. we cannot ship vaccines until fda has authorized these vaccines. vaccinations cannot start until cdc has issued its recommendations. we expect vaccinations will begin in earnest as early as tuesday, june 21, and really roll on throughout that week. it will take some time to wrap up the program for vaccines to be more widely available. as they arrive throughout the country, more sites will have vaccines, appointment will become available, and our expectation is within weeks, every parent who wants their child to get vaccinated will be able to get an appointment. we will of course do our part. we are going to continue monitoring, we are going to ship doses as fast as possible. we are going to make sure supply is always meeting demand and we
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are going to do everything we can to make it easy for providers and parents alike to get their kids vaccinated. let me just close with a few words about the bigger picture. it has been a long two years. this is the last group of americans who have not yet been eligible to get vaccinated. but as we think about getting ready to vaccinate our youngest kids, it is worth noting how much progress we have made. two thirds of all americans are now fully vaccinated. close to one third of all americans are boosted. highly effective treatments are widely available. as a result, when we look across the country, we see cases rising. nearly 100,000 cases per day. and yet we are still seeing death numbers that are substantially, about 90% lower than where they were when the president first took office.
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we know covid is not over. we still have work to do. but we have made tremendous progress. what we know is we have to keep vaccinated, keep reaching people who have not gotten vaccinated, keep making treatments widely available. because what we believe is that with hard work, resources, we can continue to protect the american people from our oldest to our youngest. thank you and i'm looking forward to questions. >> what is your expectation on when most kids will be vaccinated? is it a matter of months? what is your estimate? dr. jha: we do not have an estimate of a timeline. what we know is there are a lot of parents eager to get their kids vaccinated right away. and they will get vaccinated right away. within weeks, as i laid out. there are other parents who are waiting to see how things go. i think what we have seen in the
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past as they will come on board as they see friends and families getting their kids vaccinated. this is going to take time but we want to make sure we always have supply and access for kid -- for parents when they want their kids vaccinated. reporter: i think you are aware how much frustration and anger there has been for parents of young children. i am a parent of a four-year-old who got covid. i think one point in all of that that really has frustrated people, a lot of questions from parents, is why the fda did not apply after -- did not hold a hearing after moderna applied. waited for pfizer and moderna. dr. jha: first of all i have a 10-year-old who has been able to get vaccinated but i have a lot of friends with children under five, so i certainly hear the frustration. two things. first, the fda makes decisions on timelines really based on its
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ability to review the data and to do a careful analysis, and that is what they have been doing. i think they have done that throughout the pandemic. if you look at the early days of a vaccines through this one, they have moved expeditiously and they have made the terminations when they can be ready to evaluate and when they can make a decision. the specifics, you are going to have to ultimately talk to the fda, but they have moved quickly to analyze a very large trench of data from a dharna. -- from moderna. we have to move fast but we have to get it right and that is what the fda has been focused on. reporter: do you have information on how much paxlovid has been used so far and how much is left and whether the u.s. is considering a purchase? dr. jha: i do not have the numbers off the top of my head.
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i will tell you we are giving about 30,000 prescriptions per day. that is as of the end of last week. about 30,000 doses per day. we obviously want to continue to expand access to paxlovid for any high-risk person who is infected. the president made a commitment to get 20 million doses and we remain committed to making that happen. >> i wanted to ask about your testing program. specifically the one that was launched to order covid tests at home. can you talk about what it looks like now that we are seeing up and downs in cases? what you are seeing in terms of supply. what you are doing to super -- to preserve supply in case there is demand again. dr. jha: great question.
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we launched that two or three weeks ago, the third round of making tests available. we actually saw quite a robust demand for that. i think we have had 17 million, 18 million households order just in the last couple weeks on round three. that is a lot. it is great and it means there are people still using these tests and if you have followed the last two years you know i am a believer in making testing widely available. it is about getting people tests at home, that is a really important part of that. when you have cases rising, americans want tests, we want to make those available. we want to make sure as we have future -- if, and/or when, we have future surges, we will have tests available for americans. reporter: can you talk about the fact -- that program on equity and providing two populations that were underserved?
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dr. jha: we have thought a lot about equity. on tests -- the way we have done this is obviously, the website we use, and phone calls, we have disturbed and tests to food banks, to health centers, we have a whole series of efforts we have had to make sure testing is getting out through a variety of channels. people who may not normally be able to access it is another contexts can get access to tests -- access to it in other contexts can get access to tests. anytime you have new products, initially they have a specific shelflife and then as you do more testing you can extend that shelflife. these companies are working with fda to look at long shelflife but we are always thinking about that and making sure there is plenty of shelflife for these products as they sit in our
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stockpile. >> is there discussion know about allowing second booster shots? is that conversation taking place? dr. jha: that is the decision of the fda and cdc, they are guided by evidence and data on that. all the data i have seen is in people over 50, really over 60, that is where the strongest data are. those conversations are always ongoing but the issue of looking at evidence and making a decision is something the fda is going to do. reporter: where cases are right now, the second booster shots should be authorized for people? dr. jha: i really do leave that up to fda based on the evidence. i think they should be making that decision. reporter: do you feel confident the u.s. has enough supply for a potential summer surge? what are your predictions about
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what might happen? dr. jha: supply of? reporter: vaccines, antiviral treatments, all the various things that are needed. dr. jha: because of prior funding we purchased a decent amount of vaccines and therapeutics. i'm confident that whatever happens the summer we will have enough tools, tests, treatments, vaccines, to get us through the summer. the challenges we are less in the production business, more in the planning business as we planned the fall and winter and look at a variety of scenarios. that is where i start getting very concerned. if you want to ask what keeps me awake at night, it is that we are going to run out of vaccines , not have enough of the next generation of vaccines, we are going to run out of treatments and diagnostic tests, probably in the fall and winter if we have a surge of infections area we do not have the resources to buy those things and those
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purchases need to be made now, they cannot be made in the fall. if you are asking what worries me, we have the tools for the summer. we will not have the tools for the fall and winter unless congress steps up and finds us. reporter: based on the modeling you do, what is your sense of what a potential surge might look like this summer and then the fall and winter? dr. jha: there are a lot of models. they come up with different answers. we try to plan across all the ones we think are reasonable. there certainly are models that suggest we could have a sizable wave of infections in the fall and winter especially if we don't have a vaccination campaign in the fall and winter, if we run out of treatments, we do not have enough diagnostic tests, we could be looking at a more complicated situation. those are models we look at, we plan for them. as i said, i try not to worry too much about predicting what
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is going to happen and focusing on planning for a variety of scenarios. given what we have in terms of treatments and vaccines and diagnostics, we do not have enough to get us through the fall and winter. >> are you preparing that most americans who are not yet eligible per vaccine renewal will be encouraged to get a fourth one in the fall and will there be a new vaccine or formula geared toward the newer variants? dr. jha: there are about three or four questions in there, all of which are fda questions. fda is going to have to make decisions about whether we formulate a new vaccine. there is a meeting that's going to happen in late june to look at that question. based on data they are going to make determinations. you know the process. reporter: what would your expectation be? dr. jha: i am planning for all of those.
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we do not decide what fda will decide, we do not decide what cdc will decide. we need to plan for a variety of scenarios including planning for a next generation of vaccines for the fall and winter. which we want to make sure we have plenty of for every american. we will not have enough without additional funding from congress but we are planning for those things. dr. jha: we have to go. >> why are more boosted americans having breakthrough cases than non-boosted? >> congress is back next week and will take up gun legislation. the house returns tuesday and will vote later in the week on a package of gun safety measures. among them are increasing the age limit from 18 to 20 12 by semi-automatic rifle's like the ones used in the texas shooting. -- from 18 to 21 to buy
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semi-automatic rifles like the ones used in the texas shooting. watch live coverage of the house on c-span, the senate on c-span 2, online at, or with our free video app, c-span now. senate majority leader chuck schumer and republican congressman david joyce expressed their support for cannabis legalization and reform . they spoke during the national cannabis policy summit and were joined by journalists, industry stakeholders, and cannabis activists. topics included interstate commerce of cannabis, criminal justice reform, and the impact of the cannabis industry. watch friday on c-span with our free video app c-span now or online at
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after months of closed-door investigations, the house january 6 committee is set to go public starting june 9. tune in as committee members question key witnesses about what transpired and why during the assault on the u.s. capitol. watch live coverage beginning thursday, june 9 on c-span, c-span now, our free mobile video app, or anytime online at c-span has unfiltered coverage of the u.s. response to russia's invasion of ukraine, bringing you the latest from the president and other white house officials, the pentagon and the state department as well as congress who also have international perspectives and statement from foreign leaders, all of the c-span networks. the c-span now mobile app and, our web resource page where you can watch videos on demand and
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