Biden has new chance to rein in pandemic

Asia's Tech News Daily

Tens of millions of Americans who see vaccines as a passport back to normal life are craving clear, jargon-free advice about boosters for themselves and first-time shots for their kids as another pandemic winter looms.

Biden has new chance to rein in pandemic
© Heather Fulbright/CNN

The Biden White House has, at times, been guilty of mixed messaging and an avalanche of comments by top health officials has sometimes been hard for everyday citizens to understand — and have contrasted sharply with the administration’s strong start on wresting control of the crisis.

But another potentially decisive moment is at hand in the 19-month national nightmare, as immunity begins to wane for some of the fully vaccinated and regulators endorse booster shots for some Americans that offer the promise of saving lives and keeping Covid-19 under control. And millions of parents, worn down by the task of keeping young kids safe, are desperate for news of when vaccines will be approved, keeping schools open and heading off fears that Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas will be spoiled again.

There was some good news on Thursday. A panel of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisers recommended booster shots for those who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot. It also recommended emergency use authorization for follow-up inoculations for people over 65 or with medical conditions putting them at risk for severe Covid-19 and for those older than 18 who live or work in high-risk environments and previously got the two-dose Moderna regime. Those guidelines match recommendations already given to the same category of Americans who had Pfizer shots.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky quickly endorsed Thursday’s guidelines. The task now will be up to the administration to transmit the information in an easily comprehensible way for Americans confused by the flurry of data. Next Tuesday, there could be another breakthrough when US Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisers consider a request from Pfizer to provide emergency authorization for its vaccines in children between 5 and 11 years old.

How President Joe Biden and his team handle both rollouts will be crucial.

Vaccine authorizations are primarily a medical concern. And sound science requires unbiased and methodical trialing and evaluation of new vaccines — a factor that can lead to public impatience. But given the implications of this moment for the nation, they also represent a massive test of governance, delivery and public relations for Biden’s White House.

At a CNN town hall in Baltimore on Thursday evening, the President signaled that he understood the trauma people are facing after months battling the crisis. In addition to some of the pandemic-related structural problems in the economy, he said that some people were simply “down” and wondering whether they wanted to “get back in the game.”

“I get asked the question: ‘What’s Christmas going to be like? How about Thanksgiving? Is it going to be okay? I mean, what’s going to happen? Will I be able to buy gifts for my kids?’ There’s a lot of anxiety people have.”

One of the keys to alleviating that anxiety will be the success of the coming booster expansion — and vaccines for children that will give parents some peace of mind.

A failure at this point to offer the public clear messages about boosters risks confusing people who wonder whether they are eligible for them, potentially shrinking the fully protected population if people do not get them. But it could also give fresh life to a virus that has shown an uncanny capacity to exploit public crisis fatigue and political divides.

For Biden, who was elected more than anything to end the pandemic, this is a stark challenge that will test his reputation for competence, eroded by some tough political months that saw a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and months of feuding among Democrats struggling to use their thin mandate for Washington power. But it’s also a political imperative for Biden to look like he’s back in control, since the spike in sickness and deaths this summer put a brake on the economic recovery and triggered a plunge in his political standing. Any sign of a botched rollout, or contradictory guidance on vaccines, will also play into the hands of conspiracy theorists and conservative media propagandists who only this week exploited Colin Powell’s death to swell vaccine misinformation.

A CNN/SSRS poll last month recorded a 10-point decrease in public confidence over the President’s handling of the pandemic — to 56%.

Clearing up confusion

The issues raised by vaccines, boosters and protection for younger Americans may seem distinct and easy to understand for medical professionals and public health officials. But the blitz of information, debate about various vaccines and boosters can be confusing for many Americans, especially in a media environment polluted by misinformation about the virus that has already killed 700,000 citizens and the life-saving doses that fight it.

The majority of pro-vaccine Americans get less attention in the media than those opposed to vaccines and masks and partisans who see an angle to use the pandemic to advance their political and cultural causes. But questions and concerns about boosters have been rippling through workplaces, families and communities for weeks and clear answers have often been elusive.

The CDC’s rulings are a good sign, but also make it even more important for the administration to transmit clear guidance to the country. In recent weeks, several vaccine approval hearings by regulators, comments by government health officials, scientific reports and hopeful but unspecific statements about longed-for inoculations for kids have sometimes caused confusion. The White House this week offered an in-depth briefing on vaccines for kids under 11. The goal, officials said, was to show that a fail-safe plan was in place to get as many kids the shot as soon as regulatory approval for the dose is granted. The briefings also risked causing confusion because without that authority, parents still can’t run out and order up the vaccines for their young families. While many vaccinated Americans have reestablished a semblance of normality — returning to restaurants, sports arenas and movie theaters — many families, fearful about the possibility of infection for little ones are still living deeply constrained lives.

Biden promised on Thursday night that the vaccines for kids would be approved in “weeks, not months and months” but stressed he was not pressuring anyone and that science would dictate the timing.

The President had hoped that the pandemic would be behind him by now. And he used the July Fourth holiday to tell Americans that the worst was over, even though at the time, the Delta variant was already taking hold in the United States and experts were concerned about the summer surge that later materialized. While his declaration of partial victory was premature, the President’s efforts were also hampered by the politicization of the pandemic. In Republican-run states especially, many citizens refused to get vaccinated for political reasons. Resistance to masking and mandates for face coverings further created the conditions for the virus to spread.

Different vaccines and mixing and matching

Another source of confusion has been the three different vaccines approved for use in the US. This has caused debate about which Americans are already eligible for boosters and which are not. People also have to work out the pros and cons of mixing-and-matching vaccine brands and boosters — an approach Walensky endorsed Thursday, saying eligible people could choose whichever vaccine they wished as a booster.

Still, at long last, 15 million Americans who listened to officials telling them to get any available vaccine early in the crisis — and who got the one-shot Johnson & Johnson shot — now at least have an answer for their urgent question.

Some of the fog over vaccines is natural — no one in authority has experience of a once-in-a-century mass pandemic. And evolving science can contradict earlier guidance, as was the case with mask wearing earlier in the crisis.

But it’s not surprising that some Americans have taken the matter into their own hands, getting boosts of the Pfizer vaccine, for instance, despite the currently somewhat restrictive guidelines on its use as a third dose.

Speaking before the CDC announcement on Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said he believed that concerns many Americans have about boosters would be cleared up in coming days.

“There can be confusion, but I think right now things are going to be pretty clear when people hear what is available to them,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CBS Thursday.

“The mix and match really gives a good deal of flexibility to people in whatever it is that they want to choose,” he said. “And the CDC, I am sure, will come out with some pretty clear recommendations depending upon what category you fit into.”

How the situation develops may depend on a long-term evaluation of the role of booster shots, which will require an evaluation of whether the purpose of vaccines is to protect people from getting sick at all, or merely preventing severe infections and deaths.

“We’re trying to build the airplane while it is in the air at some level,” Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA vaccine advisory committee told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday evening. “If the goal is protection against severe disease, we’ve really met that goal.”

“If the goal is to try and keep your neutralizing antibodies high, which means that that will protect you not only against severe disease but mild disease or asymptomatic infection, then we’re talking about more frequent boosting.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Shear line to bring scattered rains over Batanes, Cagayan and Isabela

rain thumbnail weather thumb raindrops rainfall rain in traffic Parts of Luzon and Mindanao will have scattered rains or rain showers on Monday due to the shear line and Intertropical ... Read more »

More work needed to create green jobs, report says

© Getty Images Efforts to create so-called green jobs need to intensify if the UK government is to achieve its target of two million roles by 2030, according to a ... Read more »

Universal basic income in Wales ‘would cut poverty in half'

© PA Archive the Welsh Assembly Poverty in Wales would be halved if the Welsh Government established a universal basic income (UBI) system in the country, a major study has ... Read more »

Perjanjian ialah 5% royalti minyak, bukannya wang ehsan, kata Ku Li

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah berkata, Putrajaya perlu menghormati perjanjian antara kerajaan negeri dan Petronas berhubung pembayaran tunai 5% royalti minyak kerana menyerahkan hak minyak dan ... Read more »

American vaccine misinformation and extremism are infiltrating New Zealand

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — When Josephine Bartley, a member of the city council in Auckland, New Zealand, heard that a local Covid-19 vaccination clinic had been vandalized early this month, ... Read more »

Waukesha held a moment of silence Sunday, one week after a man plowed a vehicle through a Christmas parade

The city of Waukesha, Wisconsin, held a moment of silence and lit the city up in blue Sunday, marking one week since a man drove a vehicle through a city ... Read more »

Trump challenges media and Democrats to debate his electoral fraud lie

Donald Trump has challenged leading editors and politicians to debate him in public over his lie that Joe Biden beat him in 2020 through electoral fraud. © Provided by The ... Read more »

Campbell inactive for Ravens against Cleveland running game

BALTIMORE (AP) — Ravens defensive tackle Calais Campbell is inactive for Sunday night’s game against Cleveland. Campbell missed practice this week because of a concussion, and his absence is a ... Read more »

Georgia's Smart dismisses 6-game losing streak against Tide

ATLANTA (AP) — Even with Georgia undefeated in 2021 and unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 for the eighth consecutive week, Nick Saban and Alabama still cast ... Read more »

Jurgen Klopp discusses 'wrong' Liverpool decision as transfer questions raised

Another week, another big Liverpool win in the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp’s men secured a 4-0 win over Southampton on Saturday thanks to goals from Thiago Alcantara, Virgil Van Dijk ... Read more »

Drug gang behind attack that killed feminist in north Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Authorities in northern Mexico said Sunday that a drug gang was behind the shooting attack on a city hall that killed a feminist activist and a bodyguard. ... Read more »

Canada confirms country's first two cases of omicron COVID-19 variant among two people who had recently visited Nigeria

TORONTO — Canada confirms country’s first two cases of omicron COVID-19 variant among two people who had recently visited Nigeria. Read more »

It's not just ‘stuff' — the goods people work hard for matter, despite left lunacy

Actor Seth Rogen received backlash after downplaying crime in Los Angeles like people breaking into cars. Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images How important is your stuff? Over the ... Read more »

Steve Cohen trying to replicate Dodgers' roster, reputation with Mets: Sherman

The old owner squeezed nickels despite running a huge-market franchise. The new owner told baseball operations to spend what is necessary to change not just the talent level, but perceptions ... Read more »

Three Omicron cases in UK & 225 more ‘likely' but new rules ‘won't ruin Christmas'

HEALTH chiefs last night confirmed a third case of the new Omicron Covid strain in the UK — amid fears there are already hundreds of others. More than 75 “probable” ... Read more »

More than 17 million have used buy now, pay later

© Getty Images More than 17 million UK customers have now used a buy now pay later (BNPL) company to make an online purchase, company data shows. The payment method ... Read more »

Letters: New restrictions show that Britain still hasn't learnt to live with Covid

People wearing face masks cross Westminster Bridge, with St Thomas’s hospital in the background – Getty SIR – The Prime Minister’s suggestion that travel restrictions are needed to “buy more ... Read more »

R20bn life extension of Koeberg power station poses significant risks for South Africa

Preparations are under way for the replacement of the six steam generators at Eskom’s 1,840MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in what South Africa’s national electricity utility says is the most ... Read more »

Celtic 2-1 Barcelona hailed as club's standout score of all time - but do you agree?'

Celtic 2 Barcelona 1, November 7, 2012 “This was one of the greatest nights in the club’s recent history. It is up there with anything I have done in my ... Read more »

Britain and Israel to sign trade and defence deal

Britain and Israel will sign a 10-year trade and defence pact in London on Monday, promising cooperation on issues such as cybersecurity and a joint commitment to prevent Iran from ... Read more »

BA suspends Hong Kong flights as crew reportedly taken to quarantine camp

© Getty Images BA said a member of staff tested positive on arrival in the region after testing negative before departure – Getty Images British Airways has suspended flights to ... Read more »

Coronavirus set to hammer foreign tourists' Christmas visits, warns industry

The number of overseas tourists to Britain in the run-up to Christmas is expected to plunge by three quarters compared with 2019, research reveals today. International visitor numbers are expected ... Read more »

Boris Johnson's 'disrespectful' Peppa Pig speech 'jeopardised foreign investment'

Boris Johnson’s “totally disrespectful” Peppa Pig speech to business chiefs may have jeopardised foreign investment in Britain, Labour has warned. Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said “f*** business” – as the ... Read more »

Watch: Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher have heated Cristiano Ronaldo debate

© Alamy Stock Photo ROY KEANE and Jamie Carragher got into a heated debate during Sky Sports’ coverage of Chelsea-Man United today. The Corkonian was critical of the decision to ... Read more »

Omicron response should focus on global vaccine equity, not travel bans: scientists

As Canada confirms its first cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, scientists say banning travellers from southern African countries in an effort to curb its importation is wishful thinking that ... Read more »

Sadis, kanak-kanak 10 tahun dirogol, dibunuh, disumbat ke dalam guni selepas pulang mengaji. Kisah ini buat ramai sebak

Amaran: Kandungan artikel ini mungkin menganggu perasaan pembaca. KETAGIHAN pornografi atau menonton video lucah mampu mendorong seseorang melakukan sesuatu di luar batasan sehingga sanggup membunuh! Insan yang tidak berdosa termasuk ... Read more »

As Barbados heads toward a republic, some wonder why it matters

© Reuters/POOL COP26 in Glasgow By Julio-Cesar Chavez BRIDGETOWN (Reuters) – As Barbados prepares to form a republic and remove the British queen as its sovereign, some residents in the ... Read more »

Passenger from S Africa lands in Mumbai via Delhi, tests positive

© Provided by The Indian Express A 32-year-old resident of Dombivili in Mumbai, who arrived from South Africa via Delhi on November 24, tested positive upon arrival in the national ... Read more »

Prince of Wales to reaffirm ‘affection' for Barbados at republic ceremony

Charles and Camilla at Sandringham – Geoff Robinson The Prince of Wales is to “reaffirm” the “admiration and affection” between Barbados and Britain as he visits the Caribbean island to ... Read more »

Black Friday Isn't Over Yet — Almost Everything is Still 50% Off at Kate Spade's Blowout Black Friday Sale

© Ringo Chiu via AP. If there’s one designer brand that constantly takes our breath away with their uniquely adorable designs, it’s Kate Spade. We regularly find ourselves fighting the ... Read more »

The best things you can buy at the Lululemon Cyber Monday sale

© Reviewed / Lululemon The best things you can buy at the Lululemon Cyber Monday sale — Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links ... Read more »

Amazon Cyber Monday Deals: Shop 1 Carat Diamond Earrings Under $600

© Amazon Each product has been independently selected by our editorial team. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and ... Read more »

Kim Kardashian & Pete Davidson Take Selfies With Dutch Tourist During Beverly Hills Outing

© etonline A trip to truly remember. During a visit to Beverly Hills, one Dutch tourist got a real thrill when he ran into Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian. Paul ... Read more »

Stocks, oil regain some composure after Omicron battering

© Reuters/KIM KYUNG-HOON A man wearing a protective face mask amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, looks at an electronic board displaying Japan’s Nikkei Index outside a brokerage in Tokyo ... Read more »

Apple AirPods Pro are selling for an epic $70 discount ahead of Cyber Monday—but they keep selling out

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Cyber Monday is tomorrow—but this deal on the Apple AirPods Pro ... Read more »

Later life UK mortgages decrease as stamp duty holiday ends

Lending to older borrowers, those aged over 70, was stable across the period due to them accessing the market primarily through products that are not related to house purchase. Photo: ... Read more »

Vaccine experts expected to give advice on expanding boosters to all adults

Millions more people could be offered booster jabs as advisers consider extending them to all adults under emergency measures to limit the spread of the Omicron variant. A decision from ... Read more »

Police: Officer in Maryland fatally shoots man with knife

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (AP) — A police officer in Maryland fatally shot a knife-wielding man and later found a woman dead inside the same home, authorities in Anne Arundel County ... Read more »

Charles to highlight UK bonds as Barbados becomes a republic

The Prince of Wales will highlight the shared goals and enduring bonds between Barbados and the UK during a ceremony marking the Caribbean country’s transition to a republic. Charles will ... Read more »

Woman attacks Spirit Airlines flight attendants, restrained by passenger with zip ties

A woman attacked two flight attendants on a Spirit Airlines flight to Nashville on Saturday night, was restrained by a fellow passenger, and then yelled at police officers to “shoot ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic