On Thursday, the White House response team conducted a live press conference speaking about the Delta variant spread in the US and the vaccination drive.
The live press conference started out by the speaker Jeff Zients saying that the Americans, by getting vaccinated, protect themselves and their loved ones. More than 182 million people were administered one dose of the vaccine and over 162 million Americans were fully vaccinated.
A vaccination study by the Yale school said that the government strategy was working as the vaccination drive had saved a hundred thousand lives and two out of three adults had administered their first shot. However, despite the progress, there had been many deaths due to the pandemic which were unnecessary and tragic and there would only be an increase of the spread among the unvaccinated people against the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus. It was reported that 80 per cent of the adults above the age group of 60 were vaccinated and the people of the age group 12 and older would not be affected by the virus.
The percentage of vaccinated people went from 34 per cent to 68 per cent as the efficacy of the vaccines were informed to the people. As the spread of the delta variant was more vulnerable to the younger people, their goal is to get more and more Americans vaccinated. And as they have protected more, every vaccinated individual was a step forward. As President Joe Biden had said that they would be going from community to community, neighbourhood to neighbourhood and people to people for the spread of vaccination, and their goal was “One shot at a time, One person at a time.”
Their approach was by local communities and to work with the local organisations which had helped the States to get the inoculation successful. The states with lowest vaccination rates worked faster than the overall vaccination rates in other places.
The vaccines provided were free for people above age 12 and the numbers of vaccination doubled as the family doctors and local healthcare workers approached the people to get vaccinated, due to which the government would now intensify the vaccination program at schools and workplaces. The government would also mobilise the covid surge response teams to several states according to the needs, as they require extra help for the controlling of outbreaks and expansion of testing.
The response team said that in the upcoming weeks, every person in every community would be vaccinated as every community matters and that due to the vaccination drive millions of life was safer.
Mr Zients said that America was moving at a speed that had never been seen before and another life protected would lead to another community protected against the spread of the virus.
Dr Rochelle Walensky said that the CBC reported over 13900 weekly reports of cases 2000 per day, and the seven day average as 184 a day. The success of the vaccination had been seen, but on the other hand, new and concerning trends were seen in the area of low vaccination where the camps and communities were not taking care of the protection and outbreaks occurred, and in some parts of the country the percentage had been higher. She added that the delta variants approximate 80 per cent of cases and the rapid rise is troubling. The authorised vaccines prevent the spread of the virus and the widespread vaccination process would only turn around the pandemic.
Dr Rochelle Walensky mentioned that the people who were not vaccinated were at a higher risk of the virus. 173 counties had recorded the highest case rates and have 93 per cent of people vaccinated, but has also recorded the deaths of unvaccinated people. She indicated that the people who were not vaccinated were more prone to the preventable virus and deaths, as 99.5 per cent of deaths were of unvaccinated people and could have been prevented with vaccination. And she added that the vaccines were free for all people above the age group of 12.
Dr Rochelle Walensky also said that that halt of pandemic required vaccination of everyone.
Mr Zients on the efficacy of the vaccines said that 2 doses were equal to 79 per cent effectiveness, and the Johnson&Johnson vaccines against the delta variant showed 92 per cent efficacy. A recent study of the blood study of the individuals showed that it covered the delta variants and the others were prevented and the vaccines were effective.
He said that the bottom line was if you get vaccinated you are protected, as the vaccines are effective against the virus, “-so please get vaccinated, it would protect you against the virus.”
Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith said that the data indicated the majority of individuals who were vaccinated were of colour, she said that the Latino’s made up 70 per cent of America and 48 per cent of them were vaccinated. 58 per cent of doses were administered to the people of colour and the colour community has helped 75 per cent of the people get vaccinated. She said that however, the progress was good, they had more work to do. The work will be hyper-local and every vaccination will be a victory and they would continue to make vaccination easy and accurate, as all the communities were working together to ease the access of vaccination. She said that the vaccines were free and no government proof was needed.
Mr Zients on being asked about wearing maks while being vaccinated where there were high cases and low vaccination rates said that it depends on being vaccinated, and your age group and any underlying disease, for which consideration should be made to wear masks. He emphasised that an individual gets a high degree of protection due to the vaccination and wearing a mask would prevent any diseases unknown.
In a follow-up question, he responded that the general recommendation is that if you are vaccinated then there was no need of wearing masks and are already ag a high degree of protection and it depends on the individual’s discretion to risk aversion and it depends on the people whether or not they want to wear a mask on being vaccinated, but even though after the vaccination there is a high risk of not being protected from the diseases around.
Mr Zients on being asked about the reopening of the borders said that they will remain vigilant and would reopen when the health officials say it would be safe to do so. To which Dr Wallensky said that at the places of lower vaccination, the cases were higher and before the opening of the US for travel, significant progress in vaccination and public health would be considered.
Dr Willonsky said that 51 per cent was an estimate of the sequences of the virus developed until now and updates would be made for those sequences which might develop later. Mr Zients said that the trusted messed note will go door to door as it has been seen as an effective method and any organisation spreading wrong information about the door-to-door messengers or vaccination drive methods would be doing a disservice to the leaders, messengers and the doctors who were providing to help the public from prevention of the pandemic.
Dr Anthony Fauci said that they would leave the restrictions according to the situation. And for the athletes attending the Olympics 2021, he said that the majority of the athletes were vaccinated and strict protections were taken for them. He said as the First Lady would be going there and the protocol of protection for her would be strict.
At the ending of the live conference, Mr Zients said that if people had symptoms then they should get vaccinated and tested as well and that if an individual had respiratory issues then too to get vaccinated.