May 7, 2021

White House COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Fauci Press Conference Transcript May 7

White House COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Fauci Press Conference Transcript May 7
RevBlogTranscriptsCOVID-19 Briefing & Press Conference TranscriptsWhite House COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Fauci Press Conference Transcript May 7

Dr. Fauci, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and members of the White House COVID-19 Response Team & Task Force held a press briefing on May 7, 2021. Read the transcript of the briefing here.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.

Jeff Zients: (00:00)
… Dr. Murthy will share an update on our efforts to strengthen confidence in the vaccines.

Jeff Zients: (00:07)
First, I want to provide an update on the progress we are making on vaccinations and all our efforts in the next phase of getting more vaccinations to Americans. After delivering an unprecedented 220 million shots in the president’s first 100 days and successfully getting shots in the arms to the bulk of those most at risk and those most eager to get vaccinated, we are far ahead of where anyone thought we would be in our war against the virus. Importantly, as we continue to vaccinate more people, cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to fall. This vaccination campaign is curbing the spread of COVID-19, saving tens of thousands of lives and allowing millions to start living life more normally once again. That’s why it’s so important that we keep pushing for continued progress.

Jeff Zients: (01:10)
In this next phase, we’re implementing a strategy that uses all of the resources at our disposal to reach those who still need protection from this virus. Our approach and the pace of progress will look different as we reach deeper into communities and take an even more localized approach. Earlier this week, the president set a new goal for this next phase of the vaccination program. 70% of adult Americans with at least one shot and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4th, independence day. That’s roughly a hundred million shots in 60 days between May 4th and July 4th. As you can see on our vaccination report, 57% of adult Americans now have at least one shot. To meet the president’s goal of 70% of adult Americans with at least one shot, we need to vaccinate at least another 13% of adult Americans by July 4th.

Jeff Zients: (02:17)
Overall, by the end of today we will hit two significant milestones in our vaccination program. 150 million Americans with at least their first shot and 110 million Americans fully vaccinated. Our wartime effort is mobilized to meet the president’s goal and we are in all out implementation and execution mode. We’re focused on three key areas. First, improving access and making it even easier for everyone to get vaccinated. Second, building in confidence, vaccine confidence, by empowering every American with facts and answering their questions. Third, ensuring equity is at the center of everything we do.

Jeff Zients: (03:07)
To improve access and make it even easier and more convenient for Americans to get their shot, this week the president directed our federal pharmacy partners to start making no appointment, walk up vaccinations available. Soon, Americans will be able to get vaccinated without an appointment at the vast majority of nearly 40,000 local pharmacy locations nationwide. Already CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart and Sam’s Club, Meyer and Hy-Vee, Southeastern and HDB have announced that they’re offering walk-up vaccinations at all of their locations nationwide. More than 20,000 stores in communities across the country. To reach people where they are FEMA is shifting from the high volume vaccination sites that have served so many Americans so well, to smaller community-based sites and expanding the number of mobile clinics.

Jeff Zients: (04:12)
This week we also made significant investments to get Americans the information they need on vaccines. Dr. Murthy will discuss this progress in his remarks and we advanced equity by taking important steps to bolster our response for Americans living in rural communities, including by sending vaccine doses directly to an even greater number of rural health clinics and deploying almost $1 billion of America rescue plan funding to enhance and expand vaccine access and education and COVID-19 testing and mitigation in rural America. The president also announced that should the FDA issue an emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for individuals ages 12 to 15, we already have in place the operational public education plan to immediately hit the ground running. Over 15,000 local pharmacies will be ready to vaccinate 12 to 15 year olds and we are working to get more pediatricians and family doctors to offer vaccinations in their offices, to make it as easy and convenient for adolescents to get vaccinated. To be clear across all fronts, we’re doing everything we can, bringing every resource to bear, to reach Americans who need more convenience or more information and we’re enlisting every American, every organization, every healthcare professional, every business and employer, to help Americans get the facts they need and to encourage vaccination.

Jeff Zients: (05:53)
Businesses across the country have stepped up to answer the president’s call, to offer paid time off for their employees to get vaccinated. Sports leagues are also joining the vaccination effort. In Indiana, Indy Car has worked with the state to transform the Indianapolis Motor Speedway into a vaccination site, that gives vaccine getters the unique experience of getting vaccinated in an actual F1 garage and the chance to drive through the main race tunnels. That’s pretty cool. In communities across the country, Americans are going above and beyond to encourage vaccinations and get people vaccinated. Like in Alaska, where workers are delivering vaccine to deep sea fishermen using a contraption called a man basket, a bucket suspended in the air that swings from one ship to a neighboring vessel, vaccinating more than a hundred people on each ship. Now that’s what I call meeting people where they are.

Jeff Zients: (06:57)
We’re also in a new phase of our work on the global front. As the president has said, the pandemic knows no borders and he is committed at the United States will become an arsenal of vaccines for other countries. We’re taking steps to execute on this strategy. First on Wednesday because of the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic, call for extraordinary measures, US trade representative, Ambassador Tai, announced our support for the waiver of intellectual property protection for COVID-19 vaccines. Second, driven by the aggressive actions we’ve taken together to accelerate vaccine manufacturing and production lines in the US, both Pfizer and Moderna have executed well and have now increased their capacity to produce vaccine for countries around the world. Third, we have committed to sharing vaccines with other countries, including approximately 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of June.

Jeff Zients: (08:04)
These steps build on the actions we took in our first 100 days to support global pandemic response and vaccination efforts, including rejoining the World Health Organization, providing the most funding to Covax of any country in the world, working with our Quad partners to help expand vaccine manufacturing facilities in India and helping India respond to its ongoing outbreak. We know we have more work to do and we know it will not be easy. We’ve already seen what America is capable of when we come together and all of us do our part. That’s how we delivered 220 million shots in our first hundred days and that’s how we will meet the president’s new goal of 70% of adult Americans with at one shot by July 4th, each of us doing our part. Please, if you’re already vaccinated share your story and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to get vaccinated. If you haven’t gotten your shot yet and have questions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist and when you’re ready to roll up your sleeve, visit or text your zip code to 438829, to find a vaccine near you. Let me repeat that. Text your zip code to 438829. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s convenient and it’s how we save lives and return to a more normal lifestyle. With that, over to you Dr. Walensky.

Dr. Walensky: (09:56)
Thank you so much and good morning to everyone. Let’s begin again with the state of a pandemic. Yesterday CDC reported over…

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (10:03)
The state of the pandemic. Yesterday, CDC reported over 41,900 new cases of COVID-19. Our seven day average is about 45,800 cases per day, a decrease of about 13% from our prior seven day average and another hopeful sign that we are on the right track.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (10:20)
The seven day average of hospital admissions is 4,640, again, an 8% decrease from our prior seven day average.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (10:29)
And the seven day average daily deaths is now at 656 per day. We have still recorded over 700 deaths these last two days.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (10:40)
I am enormously proud of the work put forward by so many towards vaccinating our entire country. It’s truly been a remarkable feat and I am so thankful to the millions and millions of Americans who have rolled up their sleeves.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (10:56)
As you heard from Andy on Wednesday, there’s power in hearing the reasons why each of us are rolling up our sleeves and getting vaccinated. The decisions of where, when and why to get our vaccines are unique and they’re personal. We need to share these stories and encouraging others to do the same to follow what we’ve done and to join us and the community in this effort.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (11:19)
As you all know, I’m a physician and a researcher, but my most important job is as a daughter, a wife, and a mother of three sons. And when it came to vaccinating my family, we all leaned in.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (11:32)
My husband is a pediatric oncologist. He did, of course, get vaccinated to protect himself and to protect our family, but also to ensure he could minimize the risk of transmitting disease to his very vulnerable patients.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (11:48)
As for my boys, my older two, 19 and 21, really wanted to get vaccinated. They did so having lost much of their college experience this past year, and they wanted to be sure they could get back that college experience next year.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (12:05)
My youngest son, 16, is now, just recently, fully vaccinated, and I am happy to say that tonight, he is having two fully vaccinated friends over to watch a movie. It’s been a long incoming, seemingly mundane, but now very luxurious event, and he can do so because he’s fully vaccinated.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (12:28)
And I rest easy knowing my family will be safe, and that is simply the best Mother’s Day gift I could get this year.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (12:37)
We have a long way to go to get young Americans vaccinated. Only about one fifth of 18 to 29 year olds, and less than one third of 30 to 39 year olds are fully vaccinated. By contrast, more than two thirds of people over the age of 65 are already fully vaccinated.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (12:56)
Our country, our families, our children have been through so many challenges. If you haven’t been vaccinated, now’s the time. It’s easier than ever. And if you have kids 16 or older who still haven’t vaccinated, talk to them. Please encourage them to roll up their sleeves because the COVID-19 vaccines will help protect those who we hold closest to our hearts.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky: (13:24)
To all of you mothers out there, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day. Please stay safe. And now to you, Dr. Fauci.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (13:32)
Thank you very much, Dr. Walensky. I’d like to spend the next couple of minutes talking a bit about the striking effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, not only in the United States, but in those countries which have the capability of administering it.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (13:47)
I’ve spoken to you on previous press briefings about the real world effectiveness of the vaccines here in the United States, but I want to show you some examples of recently published data. Can I have the next slide?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (14:02)
Yesterday published online in the [inaudible 00:14:04] is an important paper from Israel, which is an observational study using their national surveillance data. And I’m going to show you a couple of slides that are really striking and I hope you pay attention to. Next slide.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (14:20)
This slide, though it looks busy, is really a very important message. If you move from the left of the slide to the right, you see what was going on in Israel from November 2020 to April 03. They launched their vaccine campaign on December the 20th with the red arrow, but they were having a surge of cases, which on the second arrow which is blue, prompted them to begin an initial lockdown.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (14:51)
The cases continued to surge. They added an additional lockdown on January 8th, whilst still administering, on a daily basis, the way we are doing, vaccines.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (15:04)
Then they got to that interesting turning point that I have referred to multiple times in different briefings. So take a look at right around February the 1st. What they did is they began to reopen, and one would expect you might see a surge to reopen, but as they reopened in phase one, the cases continued to come down. In phase two on February 21st, the cases continued to come down. And then when they were fully reopened with a substantial proportion of their population vaccinated, the way we want to be, they went down to practically no cases. Next slide.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (15:46)
Put in a more simple form, this is what happened. The red line are the number of cases, which as you can see continued to go up in the beginning of their vaccine program. But they reached that critical crossroads that you’ve heard Dr. Walensky and I talk about in the past, where the vaccine doses kept on coming up and the cases came down to a literally minimal number, with new cases on a seven day rolling average of 63, new deaths 1.3, and hospitalized 164. Next slide.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (16:24)
Now let’s take a look at how impressive the data are. Israel has predominantly the B117, which is the dominant variant in our own country. Take a look at the effectiveness on the right hand part of the slide of every type of infection. Infection in general, everything over 90%, asymptomatic, symptomatic, hospitalization, severe hospitalization and death, with numbers ranging from 91 to 97.5%. Next slide.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (17:02)
All ages are favorably involved. Take a look at this slide. Every age from 16 to 44 up to greater than 85 have anywhere from a 94 to a 96 effectiveness. Next slide.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (17:21)
So one can make from this study which the authors reported that these findings are of international importance as vaccination programs ramp up across the rest of the world, suggesting that other countries can similarly achieve sustained decline if they achieve a high vaccine uptake. Next slide.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (17:46)
And indeed, let’s take another country. In this case, Qatar, which looked at over 385,000 people in a mass vaccination campaign, the effectiveness not only against B117, which was close to 90%, but even the very problematic variant that we’ve spoken of in South Africa, the 351, which shows a 75% effectiveness. If you look at severe, critical or fatal disease with both the 117 and the problematic 351, both had 100% efficacy after two doses.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (18:31)
And so on the final slide, what we’ve all been saying, let’s go for the 70% of adults vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4th and I’m confident that may can mimic the pattern that I’ve just showed you on the previous slide. I’ll stop there, and over to you, Dr. Murphy.

Dr. Murphy: (18:54)
Thanks so much, Dr. Fauci. I appreciate it. And it’s great to be with all of you again this morning.

Dr. Murphy: (18:59)
I want to say a few words about our public education efforts and our broader confidence campaign. We’ve continued our public education and engagement campaign and we continue to see positive movements toward our vaccination goals. There’s new data out this week that shows vaccine confidence and vaccination continue to increase. The proportion of adults who either received the vaccine or planning to get it rose to 64%. And just for perspective, this number was 34% in December and it has increased each month since then.

Dr. Murphy: (19:34)
Additionally, at least 50% of every major adult demographic group across age, race, gender, education, and political leaning now has already gotten back to needed or wants to. That is real progress.

Dr. Murphy: (19:50)
With that said, there is no doubt that many people still have questions about the vaccines, and that’s why we will continue to work hard to ensure people get science-based information from voices they know and trust. But it’s also true that vaccine confidence is only-

Dr. Murphy: (20:03)
… and no interest. But it’s also true that vaccine confidence is only one piece of the puzzle. The barriers to getting vaccinated fall into three main categories, vaccine confidence, motivation, and access. And we see this reflected in this week’s data, which found that a substantial portion of unvaccinated people cited other reasons other than confidence for not yet getting their shots. And those reasons included not enough time, conflicts with work hours, uncertainty about eligibility, lack of information about where to get the vaccine and feeling the vaccine may be unnecessary among other reasons. The good news is that our COVID-19 community [inaudible 00:20:42] is working hard to address all three challenges of vaccine confidence, motivation, and access. And today I want to share a few stories about their work. One of our members prepare STL is engaging communities of color in St. Louis through peer to peer outreach. They’re hosting small group conversations of 10 or fewer people.

Dr. Murphy: (21:02)
And they ultimately aim to share vaccine information with over 6,000 community members. The Congdon Street Baptist Church, and other churches in Providence, Rhode Island have been using their existing phone [inaudible 00:21:14] to call community members about getting vaccinated, even offering to drive them to vaccination sites when they’re ready. And finally, I want to highlight BAPS Charities, a Hindu-American organization that has turned their temples into vaccination centers. For elderly members of these temples, it’s been easier to get vaccinated at their own temple, surrounded by trusted friends and familiar settings than it may have been for some of them to get vaccinated at an unfamiliar location. So from California to Missouri to Rhode Island, these organizations are showing us that we need a strong, people-powered movement to address these three main barriers to vaccination, vaccine confidence, motivation and access. And that’s why we’re also making significant federal investments towards these goals.

Dr. Murphy: (21:58)
We’ve dedicated $250 million for committee organizations to provide vaccine information, help make appointments and assist with transportation to those appointments. We also, this week announced an additional $130 million, which will support equity efforts for hard to reach and high-risk communities. And another $100 million will support rural health clinics and their education and outreach efforts in rural communities. On top of this, nearly $250 million will be available to states in other jurisdictions to power the next phase of their outreach efforts. This is also why the administration this week rolled out additional tools to make it even more convenient, to find a vaccine. So you can now enter your zip code on, which is in English and Spanish and get locations where you can get vaccinated around you. And you can also text your zip code to the number of 438829, which spells GETVAX, or to 822862, which spells VACUNA.

Dr. Murphy: (22:53)
And you’ll receive three vaccination sites near you. It’s really quick and easy to do. I find myself doing it a few times just to see what comes up and make sure everything’s still working and everything is great. And it’s a tool that we’ve got a lot of good feedback on so far. So I encourage you to use that text tool, use the website, it makes it easy to find out where to get vaccinated. I lastly just want to speak directly to the people who are wondering in this moment if it’s still important for them to get vaccinated, please do get vaccinated. It really does matter because even if you’re not in high risk for severe illness from COVID 19, we know that you can still get infected even without symptoms and spread the virus to others who are a higher risk of hospitalization in depth.

Dr. Murphy: (23:37)
We saw that time and time again over the past year, and that is in fact how many people acquired the virus and ultimately passed away from it. When you get vaccinated, though, you break that chain of transmission by giving the virus one less place to hide in your community. The only way to get cases to come down and stay down is for everyone to get vaccinated. That’s how you can protect your community and help all of us return to the activities and the life we love. I know it’s been difficult here and that everyone in our country has been asked to step up and sacrifice in a big way. And I want to be clear that this pandemic will end. The faster we get vaccinated, faster that day will come. And finally, I just want to wish everyone out there a happy mother’s day.

Dr. Murphy: (24:21)
I particularly want to recognize all the moms out there who have shouldered often a disproportionate amount of the challenge of COVID- 19 and having to manage children and tele work as well as manage virtual learning. Moms and dads have shared in that burden, but I know it has disproportionately fallen on moms. And one of the most powerful things I think we can do for moms out there is to help end this pandemic quickly. That’s why getting vaccinated is so important. It’s our quickest way to ending the pandemic. Thank you for your time. I look forward to your questions. Back to you, Jeff.

Jeff Zients: (24:56)
Thanks doctors. Let’s open it up for a few questions.

Speaker 1: (25:01)
Thanks, Jeff. Reminder. Keep your questions to one question so we can get as many through. First let’s go to David Lim at Politico.

David Lim: (25:11)
Hey guys. Thanks for taking my question. Nancy Messonnier, who was among the first to warn Americans of the threat that COVID-19 post last year announced this morning she was resigning from the CDC. This question is for [Dr. Valensky 00:25:24]. Can you explain why she was reassigned two weeks ago away from the agencies COVID-19 vaccine task force, and why is she now leaving the CDC?

Dr. Valensky: (25:35)
Thank you very much for that question. As you know, Nancy has… Dr. Messonnier has been a true hero, and through her career in terms of public health, she’s been a steward of public health for the nation over this pandemic and through a many decade career, she’s made significant contributions and she leaves behind a strong force of leadership and courage in all that she’s done. I want to wish her the best in her future endeavors, and I have no other comment. Thank you.

Speaker 1: (26:07)
Issam Ahmed, New York public radio.

Issam Ahmed: (26:13)
Hi, this is Issam Ahmed with AFP. My question was on vaccinating with Pfizer, when it becomes… If it gets full approval, will that mean it’s then a standard of care and will trial to be able to continue with a placebo or not after that?

Jeff Zients: (26:37)
So, I’ll go first then maybe [Dr. Fowchee 00:26:39] you can also chime in if I miss anything here. If Pfizer announced today that it’s applying for full approval from the FDA, it’s important to start with nothing changes right now. The vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine is still authorized under emergency use authorization. So Pfizer has announced that it has initiated it’s application for full approval, and we anticipate that it will complete that application across the coming weeks. These reviews generally take a few months, is our understanding. This is all over at the FDA, of course. Given the nature of the pandemic, FDA will move as expeditiously as possible without compromising its gold standard for safety. Our focus remains on getting 70% of adult Americans at least one shot by July 4th, as the president has laid out that goal. And it will certainly be an important day if full approval is granted, but the process will be fully led and run by the FDA. Dr. Fowchee, anything to add here?

Dr. Fowchee: (27:48)
Well, the question was about placebo. Right now, given the availability of vaccines, you’d have to have a really very good reason to do a placebo-controlled trial right now. Most of the trials, when they do occur, would likely be of non-inferiority or superiority trials, where you would have to compare it to another product, as opposed to giving a placebo. You give a placebo-controlled trial in a country in which there’s no access whatsoever. So that if the people in the trial were not on the trial, they still would not have access to a vaccine. That’s not the situation in the United States. So regardless of whether it’s an EUA or it’s a BLA, the same thing, you don’t want to do a placebo right now.

Jeff Zients: (28:30)
Thank you, Dr. Fowchee. Next question.

Dr. Fowchee: (28:32)
Shira Stein, Bloomberg.

Shira Stein: (28:37)
Hi, thanks. What impact would a trip’s waiver have on US production and could it undercut supply? And in addition to trips, does the white house have any plans to push for broader international manufacturing capabilities?

Jeff Zients: (28:52)
Yeah, I think, let me start with the right thing to do is the waiver. We are in an unprecedented once in 100 year pandemic, and that calls for extraordinary measures in extraordinary times. Experts agree that the waiver alone won’t result in the scale and speed we need to make enough vaccines to end this pandemic, and that’s why we will continue to ramp up our efforts, working with the private sector in all possible partners to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution around the world and increase, as you pointed out, the important supplies, the raw materials, the equipment needed to make the vaccines. Next question.

Speaker 1: (29:39)
Tommy Christopher [inaudible 00:29:40].

Tommy Christopher: (29:45)
Hi. Can you hear me now? Hello?

Jeff Zients: (29:47)

Tommy Christopher: (29:47)
All right, good. Oh, yes, thank you. My question is, I guess, for all of you, there’s a new IHME report out that says the true death toll in the US from Corona virus is over 900,000, and I’ve been wondering this for a while…

Tommy: (30:02)
Over 900,000. And I’ve been wondering this for a while. I know the CDC tracks excess death figures and I’ve been wondering if there’s been any discussion of, or plan to, incorporate those figures into the official death toll. Which I guess currently is just confirmed deaths.

Jeff Zients: (30:18)
Dr. Walensky?

Dr. Walensky: (30:19)
Yeah, thank you for that. So that’s a study that just came out from the IHME where they’re now adding their excess deaths into their attributable deaths directly from COVID-19. As you know, we have been collecting, not only … And we’ve known that the toll of this pandemic is not necessarily just those who’ve passed from COVID-19, specifically, but excess deaths relating to access to care, not presented to care, and many other things. So we will look at this carefully and then we will work within the CDC to make decisions as to whether to count them as excess or to count them as COVID specific. Regardless, I think we need to understand that the death toll of this disease has been attributable directly from COVID, as well as the collateral damage, I would say, of what has happened from COVID-19. And that, in my mind, is just more and more reason to continue to get vaccinated.

Jeff Zients: (31:13)
Next question?

Press Staff: (31:15)
Zeke, AP.

Zeke Miller: (31:18)
Thanks for doing this. We heard the president say that he wants to turn the US … [inaudible 00:31:23] US sharing vaccines around the world, to the arsenal of democracy. Now, a couple of weeks into this phase, I was hoping, Jeff, you might have some more outlines on what criteria the White House will use to determine how to share vaccines with the rest of the world. Will it only be with allies? Will it be through COVAX on a need basis? Is it a tool of foreign policy or is it a tool of philanthropy in public health?

Jeff Zients: (31:51)
So Zeke, at the moment, there are no AstraZeneca doses that have completed and cleared the process to send to other countries. We expect there’ll be approximately 10 million doses that could be released in the coming weeks, after FDA concurrence. There’s an estimated 50 million doses, in addition, that are in various stages of production that could be completed across, or should be completed, across May and June. So in some, we’re talking about 60 million doses of AstraZeneca in the US that could be shared, or will be shared, with other countries over the next couple of months. As these doses become available, the plans will be finalized as to where they go. Next question.

Press Staff: (32:43)
Last question, let’s go to Jeremy Diamond at CNN.

Jeremy Diamond: (32:47)
Hey, thanks so much. Jeff, just to follow up on what Zeke was asking, do you have any metrics currently that you can share about how you’re going to determine which countries receive the doses? And do you have an update the status of the FDA’s quality control review? And then just, secondly, according to this Kaiser Family Foundation Poll, we now see that 18 to 29 year olds are the most hesitant demographic. What do you guys see as the best way to move numbers with that age group?

Jeff Zients: (33:16)
Let me start with handing it over to Dr. Murphy on the 18 to 29 year olds. Dr. Murphy?

Dr. Murphy: (33:23)
Thanks, Jeff. So I appreciate the question about 18 to 29 year olds. One of the reasons I specified that there are three distinct reasons that we think, at this point, people may not want to take a vaccine is because we’ve got to not assume that everybody has doubts about the vaccine. We know some people have questions, we know some people may not feel motivated, may not think it’s important. And other people have access issues. For 18 to 29 year olds, what we know is that there some combination of these three things going on. And so our approach is, number one, make sure that people can get accurate information from trusted messengers. 18 to 29 year olds may listen to very different messengers than I would, or perhaps some of us on this panel, so part of our work through the Community Corp has been mobilizing and engaging those messengers.

Dr. Murphy: (34:09)
The second thing that we’re also doing is we’re making sure that it’s easy to get a vaccine. What you heard today from the president, or rather earlier this week from the president, was a number of steps are being taken to set up mobile units, pop-up options for getting the vaccine, and walk-in options in pharmacies now. To make it, again, lower the barriers to getting vaccine. And finally, just remember this, we have to continue to help people across the country to understand why it’s important to get vaccinated, even if you yourself may be a lower risk of complications. Dr. Walensky mentioned her own children, two of whom were eager to get vaccinated, one of whom will likely get vaccinated soon, and the point is now they can do things with their friends that they otherwise weren’t able to do.

Dr. Murphy: (34:52)
They can go back to college, potentially feel much safer about not only their own risk of getting sick, but potentially the contribution they may make to other people getting sick by being transmitters. So these are the messages we’re going to continue to take the young people. And we’re seeing more young people step up to want to carry this message, because again, I believe strongly that young people are not just interested in staying healthy themselves, but they are the leaders in building a better future. And we are going to need them to step up, to help spread this message, and to get other young people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Jeff Zients: (35:23)
On AstraZeneca, the timing, as I mentioned earlier for the first 10 million doses, we expect that across the coming weeks. All pending FDA concurrence. And as those doses become available, the specific plans as to where they go will be announced at that point. And also the framework for future decisions will also be articulated. So, no further news on that front. With that, let me add my well wishes to all the moms out there, happy Mother’s Day, and we look forward to everybody next week. Thank you.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.