No, I didn’t specify what behaviors are appropriate. I think every individual should make those choices that make sense for them. But those choices are being made or should be made based on what we now know about the enemy we are currently dealing with—the range of Omicron variants. I’m just saying there’s no need to yet get anxious about a future unknown variant having a worse Long Covid outcome compared to Omicron. We have no information (yet) to lead us to believe this will be the case.
For clarification, the covid budget shortfall may also impact the country’s ability to even purchase enough of the new bivalent vaccines from the vaccine makers for everyone who wants one, insured or uninsured.
Here’s Dr. Jha from today’s press briefing (second to last question):
So, first of all, we’re going to hear more from the FDA next week. Then, negotiators — kind of, contract negotiators on behalf of U.S. government are going to enter into contract negotiations with Moderna and Pfizer, with the resources that we’ve been able to pull together, cobble together for vaccines for the fall. It’s very clear we’re not going to have enough vaccines for every adult who wants one.
How do they know how many people will want one? Booster uptake was definitely less than the original vaccine series. And since the media has stopped discussing COVID in almost any way, particularly with respect to hospitalization and death, I’m curious how many people will take the updated vaccines this fall.
Moderna is financing producing their new vaccine and seems like it should available for both public and private purchase if they receive FDA approval. At the briefing it was mentioned that many EU countries and the UK are ahead of the US in contracting with Moderna and Pfizer for the new vaccines. Is that because they’ve already received approval in those countries? Is Congress reluctant to allocate funds if the vaccines are still unapproved? What happens to the funds if the new vaccines aren’t approved?
From Financial Times article, “Moderna calls for approval of two-strain Covid vaccine booster”.
“Moderna is urging regulators to authorise its new two-strain Covid-19 vaccine booster, after releasing data that shows it increases immunity against the fast-spreading Omicron subvariants. The US biotech group said the vaccine — which contains the genetic code for the original strain and Omicron — demonstrated a “potent neutralising antibody response” to the subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. Stephen Hoge, Moderna president, said the higher level of protection compared with the company’s existing vaccine justified switching to the new booster, which could help prevent “a large rise in cases” in early autumn.
“We’ve been producing millions of doses over the last couple of months,” he added. “And we would hope to have tens of millions to hundreds of millions of doses available in August, September and October to support boosting prior to the fall respiratory virus season.”
“Moderna has been producing the updated vaccine on its own dime ahead of any regulatory approvals, and Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel said the company could begin supplying the shot in August.”