“High school students, in particular, are known to be about as sensitive and about as good at transmitting this virus as other young adults,” said Dr Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, on ABC’s Good Morning. America Wednesday. “It will be really great to be able to set up this vaccination schedule well before September. “
The FDA will likely clear Pfizer / BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for this age group early next week, a federal official told CNN. When that happens, the United States will be “ready to act immediately” to vaccinate teens, said Andy Slavitt, senior White House adviser on Covid-19.
Experts, including Dr Anthony Fauci, have estimated that between 70% and 85% of the American population must be immune to the virus – through vaccination or a previous infection – to control its spread. The United States could depend on vaccinating high school students by fall to make it happen, he said.
If the United States does not reach 80% of Americans vaccinated, the country could run the risk of another outbreak in the fall, vaccine expert Dr Paul Offit told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
And while advances in vaccination are likely to dramatically reduce the death toll, Reiner said the United States will need to remain vigilant to avoid flare-ups in the fall.
Switch from mass vaccination to local pharmacies
An important part of the adolescent vaccination plan relies on using local resources such as pediatrician offices, Slavitt said.
The plan also aligns with the broader strategy to make vaccinations more accessible by moving away from mass vaccination sites for walk-in appointments at local pharmacies.
For example, California officials have said the massive Covid-19 vaccination site at the notorious Oakland Coliseum will close this month after a “rapid reduction” in appointments over the past two weeks.
The announcement follows the decision to also close Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, once hailed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as the largest mass vaccination site in the United States, later this month as officials shift their efforts to smaller, community-based routes.
Meanwhile, CVS will offer walk-in and same-day vaccination appointments at more than 8,300 pharmacies, the company told CNN on Wednesday.
Super Bowl tickets for vaccinated fans
As the United States strengthens its immunity to the virus, large-scale entertainment venues are opening up.
Walt Disney World has said it will phase out on-site temperature checking for staff and guests this month.
“We will continue to follow the advice of health and safety officials in the future and, most importantly, encourage people to get vaccinated,” he said.
And cruise ships, a first hotspot for coronavirus outbreaks, can now begin mock trips with volunteer passengers, on orders from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The guidelines are a new phase under the CDC’s Conditional Navigation Order, released in October as a phased approach to prevent transmission of Covid-19 on cruise ships and possibly resume passenger cruises .
Some events even encourage vaccination.
The National Football League has announced a plan for vaccinated fans to win free tickets to the next Super Bowl. The NFL says the winners, who have shared “their story of why they got the shot or are going to get the shot soon,” will receive a pair of Super Bowl LVI tickets. The league has 50 allocated tickets to give away.
And on Wednesday, the city of Chicago announced a series of monthly concerts reserved exclusively for residents fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The global responsibility of the United States to ensure that the world does not “suffer and die” from Covid-19
The Biden administration on Wednesday announced its support for relaxing patent rules on Covid-19 vaccines, which could increase their global supply as countries like India grapple with massive epidemics.
“If we stand united, if we work together, if we help work and collaborate with countries around the world, I believe we will reverse this pandemic,” said US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy.
Countries like the United States, which have an adequate supply of vaccines, are obligated to help immunization programs in the rest of the world, Fauci said.
“I believe we have a moral obligation,” he said, “to make sure that the rest of the world does not suffer and die, so to speak, from something that we can help them and them. help prevent. “
Fauci said he would agree to waive patent protection for vaccines, among other options.
“We have to get to the end game. And the end game is the equitable distribution of vaccines, so however we get there. It’s okay with me. We just have to get there, ”Fauci said.
Naomi Thomas, Betsy Klein, Maggie Fox, Virginia Langmaid, Cheri Mossburg, Jamiel Lynch, Ryan Prior, David Close, Kelsie Smith and Lauren Mascaren contributed to this report.