Photo by Adam Schultz

President Biden plans to expedite current vaccine distribution rates through federal action.

In Friday morning’s briefing, The COVID response team announced their goal of vaccinating 200 million individuals during President Biden’s first 100 days in office. This comes after the initial goal of 100 million vaccines administered was shattered in only 58 days. 

There has been aggressive action taken to increase the vaccine supply, and the Defense Production Act is being used to expedite the process. The ramped-up production has been successful so far, and is said to be attributed to the work being done with the vaccine manufacturers, and by taking actions like deploying federal personnel to serve as vaccinators and making it so neighborhood pharmacies can be shifted to vaccine sites. 

“The President’s new goal of 200 million shots in his first 100 days is only possible because of the President’s whole of government, national strategy, and our partnership with state, territorial, tribal, and local officials,” said the team. 

New clinical trial on college students 

Launched yesterday, this study tests whether the vaccine prevents infection as well as the spread of COVID-19 among college students. 

This study will help inform science-based decisions about mass cues and about social distancing post-vaccination. 

“The prevailing question is when these people get infected. How often is it that they’re asymptomatic, how much virus do they have in their nose, and do they transmit to people who are their close contacts,” said Dr. Fauci. 

Students hailing from more than 2,620 colleges across the United States are participating in these newly launched study. The students are going to be randomized into two groups in which 6,000 students will receive the vaccine immediately, and the other with a delay. 

Participants will then provide an electronic diary where they swab their nose, provide blood samples, and name who their close contacts are to determine the degree of transmission between them. 

“We hope that within the next five or so months we’ll be able to answer a very important question about whether vaccinated people get infected asymptomatically,” concluded Dr. Fauci.

Vaccine success still calls for adherence to public health guidelines

Despite the success of vaccine distribution, COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations have recently been on the rise, noted Director of the CDC Dr. Walensky. 

Because of this, everyone must continue to do their part as it has been throughout the entire pandemic. 

“It’s clear there is a taste for optimism, but there is not a case for relaxation. This is not a time to let down our need to follow the public health guidelines,” concluded the team. 

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