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tv   White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing  CSPAN  October 20, 2021 11:46pm-12:29am EDT

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vaccinatuity and fairness will be at thcinationú finally, while many ready to get their kids vaccinated, we know some still have outstandingestions.ur efforts is raising vaccine awareness and getting parents the facts they need make the right choice for their kids, including by empowering messengers they trust such as local pediatricians and family doctors. i'll tn dr. but before i do that, i want to take a step back. as dr. walensky and dr eslif feainst covid-19, vaccines are safe, effective and tht of this pandemic. today, we will hit another marker of progress in our fight90 millioncans. that's more thatwo out of three eligible individuals those 12 and older. and if authorized, pfizer'sr additional 28 million americans eligible for vaccination.
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this will move us further along on our path out of this pandemic. our top priority remains getting more unvaccinated american please go get a shot. it's convenient. ll safe virus. with that, over to you, dr. murthy.hy: well, thanks so much, jeff. and it's good to be here with everyone again today. as jeff mentioned, we are really looking ahead to this major milestone of an authorized vaccine for kids age five to 11, which the fda and cdc will discuss in the coming weeks. and i will say that as a anxiously awaiting their decision. i also know that many other parents across the country are as well. now we also know that not all parents have access to ar a family doctor to whom they can ask their questions so, as we await the outcome from the and cdc,ø nt ttake some time to shar how we plan to equip parents with clear, accurate and science based information from sources 're preparing a nationalllwith the information about the vaccines. we will work with schools to send letters home to parents. we will convene doctors in health clinics and support them as
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amil we will provide faith lead with materials and toolkits that they can distribute to their congregations. we will create forums for parent parents to ask questions to health experts. and with all of this, we will make sure that we are reaching parents in their language and through the people they trust. strong connections to parents. our covid-19 community corps which now has over 16,000 members will be a powerful pathway for us to reach parents.4+ other organizations built trust with parents for many years, such as head start the national parent teacher association, the americane chil and as part of our push to get announcing the parents leadership corps, a group of well known medical experts trusted parents and outside stakeholders who will amplify accurate information online and in media appearances. we need everyone on board for the work ahead of us because every parent should have the nd to help protect the kids under five, who can't get vaccinated yet. we want parents to know are that goal for their kids and that's why we're eagerly
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fective with adults and adolescents. it's tested in carefully run trials over the course of nths and now we've got our nation'ssc and effectiveness. process will culminate with the option to vaccinate our children ages five to 11. we will be ready ensure that everyone has both the information and the access they need to protect theires. finally, as we await thison, the best thing that wecan do to protect our children and to wear masks in public spaces. serve as shield between our children and the virus and we that w nation's children, even if they're n our own. thanks so much for your time today. and jeff, i'll pas well thank you, dr. murthy. let's open it up for questions. kevin? , please keep your questions to one question. first, let's go to sasha pezenik at abc news. sasha pezenik: hey guys, thank you for you talked about the lessons we have learned so far with other
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vaccine rollouts. last time we announced a plan e waome hiccups in it. is this a similar situation and what happederal five to 11? mr. zients: no. i think we're actually doing the right thing here as we did before, which is to make sure that we are operationally ready. so to be cstalthink everybody has emphasized the decision on authorization is with the fda and with the cdc. at the same time we want to be ready. this is actually something we learned from the initial rollout during the pri where the vaccine became approved for emergency use bynd the system wasn't ready to actually put shots in we are going to be ready pending the fda and cdc decision. that'll be based on science, but we want to make sure thens are ready to accommodate kids.of kids are different than adults. at the same time, we need to make sure we have the su pharmacies, at children's hospitals, pediatrician's offices, family offices, familyal clinics
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community clinics. so that's a lot of preparation. so we will be ready, but again it's all pending fda and cdc decision. i think the best practice herethat we canning at the next question, please. yamiche at pbs. >> thanks so much for taking my question. two quick questions. the first is, can you talk a little bit about the administration's efforts toanether or not kids can be vaccinated? we've seen thing their decisions about adults and i wonder what the thoughts are about not letting isipwhether then the second question i have is, can you quickly just explain a little bit about the weather changes here? i'm seeing states with cold weather are showing a rise in new covid infections in places like alaska or montana. th thank you for the two questions. dr. murthy, do you want to address the first question and then dr. walensky the second? sounds
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good. thanks for that question. the most important thing for us to do with the vaccination effort with kids is to keep our focus on the health of children. this is about public health. it's not about politics. for many, many years, we have a very powerful tool to save lives. to keep our children healthy. to make schools safer places. that's what wimate recommendations. what we've got to do and we've laid out the plans for here are to make sure that the people who are carrying this message are in fact, scientists and doctors and public health experts. these are the folks we know parents want to hear from, and we're workiget accurate information from voices they trus be about our k and their health. that's what's got to unite us in this effort to vaccinate children. mr. zients: dr. walensky? great. thank you. first, we're really encouraged as we watch the covid-19 cases come down from this delta surge in this very moment, but we all know that respiratory viruses or sars-cov-2, but rsv, influenza other coronaviruses tend to thrive in winter months and colder weather.
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so right now is not the time as cases are coming down to become complacent, because we do know colder weather is ahead of us and we need can including vaccinating those 66 million people who have not yet been vaccinated, all we can in our prevention measures ands akto m complacent during this period of time. mr. zients: next question, please. >> zeke. ap.ún zeke: thanks for doing this. do you have a projection of how many of the 28,000,00 five to 11 -- 28 million five to 11 year olds in the country can be vaccinated and how quickly that will roll out? also, is there a sense of sort of the impacts that vaccinating that cohort will have on masking in schools? you can speak to sort of the benefits along those lines. an hoping you might be able tothe potential -- so the reporting regarding travel impacts. different topic. disruptions at tsa and airlines ahead of the travel season from vaccine mandates. zients: oops.
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i think we lost zeke, but why don't we start with the number of kids, and then dr. walensky i'll turn to you on schools, and then i'll come back on i think, the last of zeke's questions. so our goal here is to vaccinate as many kids, five to 11 years of age as posswe know, as dr. walensky will expand upon, that vaccines are our path to accelerate out of this pandemic. for 28 million. that's all kids ages fi years old. there are many families that are eagerly awaiting they to get vaccinated. said, there's also some families with questions. as we've seen with adults, confidence grows across time. at the start of the vaccination program nine months ago, only 34% of adults were eager to get the shot. to least their first shot. so confidence increases across time. operationally, if authorized, by the fda and cdc, we will belked about. we have the supply.
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we'll make it convenient and easy forcines to pediatrician's offices, schools rural health clinics pharmacies, and children'sspitals. and we'll work, as dr. murthy said, with trusted messengers for parents and kids to answer their questions. so we expect more and more kids to get vaccinated across time. dr. walensky on schools? dr. walensky: yeah. maybe just picking up on that. after we have authorization from fda and recommendations from cdc, we will b,p just noted, as we head into these winter months, we know we cannot be complacent. we also know from previous data that schools that have had masks in place were three and a half times less likely to have school outbreaks requiring school closure. so right now we ar all schools for all people in those schools. we will look forward to scaling up pediatric vaccination dur mr. zients: i believe zeke's last question was about the federal mandates and possible impact on holiday travel. vaccination requirements will
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not impact holiday travel. vaccination requirements work. they've increased vaccination rates by 20 plus percentage points to over 90% in most expect to see an increase in compliance toward the end of that deadline, as we approach the deadline. point number two is the deadline contractors is more than a month away. federal workers have until november 22nd to get fully vaccinated. the federal contractor deadline's actually a couplepx december 8th. have already stepped up to require vaccination, including most of the major airlines. the third point is for the small number of people who do not comply by the deadline. the first step is a period of education and counseling. it's important to remember that this is a process and the point here is to get people vaccinated not to punish them. so agencies will not be removing employees from federal service
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until after they've gone through a process of education and counseling. and just like federal agenci contractors will follow standard processes for accommodations and enforcement among their employees. the bottom line is this, the requirements for federal workers and contractors will not causet services that people depend on. agencies have the flexibility necessary to enforce the mandate without impacting critical operations. and we all know, as we talked about over and over, getting more people vaccinated and vaccination requirements are very effective tools, will accelerate the path out of the pandemic. next question. >> let's go to sheryl stolberg at the new york times. sheryl: hi. thank you for taking my question and for doing this call. two questions. first, we know that the younger the age, the less likely people are to be vaccinated, and ultimately the white house turned i'm wondering, is there a path for you to mandate vaccination
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for some or all children and would you consider that? and secondly, in following on sasha's question, you talked about it's important to lay plans and be ready for the fda's decision, but the criticism at that time for roosters was that the white house in publicizing those plans was presupposing the outcome of the fda and cdc decision-making and kind of putting its thumb on the scale. and aren't u doing that again now with kids shots? mr. zients: no, cheryl, i think i'll take the second one first.. i mean, clearly we've emphasized from the get-go that this will be driven by the scien medicine and that's the expertise and the decision making authority of the fda and the cdc. that is a different process. and we will await their deci getting prepared operationally. governors, working with their
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teams to make sure that they have the right set of pediatricians and family doctors lined up to receive the vaccine,als, making sure that we have the community health centers ready to receive supply and have scheduling systems in place. so getting operationally ready is different from the fda and cdc decision-making process and we are operationally ready, but the decision on the authorization is clearly with the fda and the cdc. and i think this is a best practice.way to do things to be operationally ready. at the same time, obviously defer to the science and the the fda. and i think we learned that lesson, as i said earlier from the prior administration where the decision was made by the fda and cdc and the operations weren't ready. and that meant that adults at the time were not able to receive their vaccines as efficiently, equitably as possible. and this will enable us to be ready for kids. on vaccinations for kids and
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requirements, first i'll just start by that's really about schools and vaccinations and practicing, as dr. walensky said, proven health measures including masking, distancing, and ventilation is the best way to keep scho have been around for decad at the state and local level. we know that in general requirements work and we support states and school districts taking actions to ensure that vaccinated. but again, those decisions should be made at the state and local level. one more question, kevin. dr. murthy: [crosstalk] can i actually add one thing to your last comment? mr. zients: please. dr. murthy: so cheryl, to your question, i'll say i'll admit two points i just want to emphasize on why we're making this announcement now as well, which is, as jeff said, all the preparation that he mentioned
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takes time. you know, all these conversations we're having with community organizations, the logistics that have to be set up at doctor's offices and pharmaci and that's one of the reasons why this planning has to start so early. it can't wait until a final decision is rendered, although that final decision is clearly up to the fda and the cdc. but the second point is that we know that there are many parents out there who are worried about either their kge vaccinated, who want to make sure that a vaccine will be available to them. they have questions. one of the reason we're sharing this plan today is we want to speak dictly to and let them know that we share their concerns about the health and wellbeing of their children. and we do have plans that we have been working on to make sure that as soon as that decision is rendered, that there will be vaccine available, that we will work hard to get accurate information to people. and cheryl, one last thing i want to say, and this is really a request to everyone out there, which is we know one of the barriers and challenges we will face to getting vaccines to children is a similar barrier we face with adults, which is that there is a profound amount of misinformaabout vaccines. and that's why we're making sure that it's trusted messengers with scientific credibility who go out there and talk about these vaccines.
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but it is our collective responsibility, whether we're in government, in the media whet help prevent the flow and spread misinformation online. and so that's what we've got to all remember. we have a role to play in ensuring that parents have accurate information and that's going to be really one of the keys to making sure that they can get the vaccine and ultimately protect their children. back to you, jeff. mr. zients: thanks dr. murthy. kevin? kevin: last question. let's go to jeremy diamond at cnn. jeremy diamond: hey, thanks very much for doing this. so you guys said that you have procured enough of these child sized vials to vaccinate the 28 million children aged five to 11. are all of those vials ready to ship? and if you could give us a sense of how quickly those would get out the door, how many of those would ship on day one or in the first week? and then secondly, what will the vaccination of these children, will that have on your projections of herd immunity and how much do you think it will
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help us slow the spread? thank you. mr. zients: thanks, jeremy. as i said upfront, we have more than enough vaccine for every child, age five through 11. that's 28 million in total. as soon as the vaccine is so the first step in the process, that's when we will begin to ship pending the cdcs -- cdc's decision. we'll ship about 15 million doses out nationwide in those next feways with millions more going out each and every week to make sure that we're matching the doses with where they're most needed, where there's the greatest demand. so to put the first week's allocation in perspective, the 15 million going out all in that first week, it took 12 weeks back at the end of 2020 and into 2021, it took 12 weeks to get enough supply out into the field to vaccinate half of the
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eligible adult population.will be doing all of that upfront with millions of more we're in very, very good shape here. so the bottom line is there will be plenty of supply and we look forward to parents having the opportunity to vaccinate their kids pending the fda and cdc decision-making. dr. fauci on jeremy's second question. dr. fauci: yeah, jeremy, you bring up a good point. you know, months ago it was felt based on the data with alpha predominantly that children do not get infected as much. and if they do, they don't spread the infection in the home setting. a recent paper just came out that actually showed on the contrary. in the era of delta, children get infected as readily as adults do, and they transmit the infection as readily as the adults do. we may not appreciate that because about 50% of the infections in children are asymptomatic.
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so specifically to your question about herd immunity, if we can get the overwhelming majority of those 28 million children vaccinated, i think that would play a major role in diminishing the spread of infection in the community. so your question is very relevant and that's one of the reasons why we want to do as best as we can to get those children from 5 to 11 vaccinated. back to you, jeff. mr. zients: thank you, dr. fauci, and thank you everybody. we look forward to our next briefing. announcer: c-span is her unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more, including comcast. >> you think this is just a community center? it is way more than that. >> comcast is partnering with 1000 community centers to create wi-fi enabled -- so students from low-income announcer: comcast provides he
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spent as a public service along with these other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy. announcer: on thursday attorndtestifies on the justice department's policies before the house judiciary committee. we are clamoring -- covering it life beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three. announcer: has republican leaders held a news conference under legislative agenda. rising prices, supply chain selects, and the southern border -- bottlenecks and the southern border. this is 20 minutes. >> thank you everybody, for being here. the
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