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Biden administration will stop buying Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests as early as this fall, Jha says

2022/8/23 14:56:48 Views:207

Original from: CNN

The Biden administration has been planning for how to get past the crisis phase of the Covid-19 pandemic and will stop buying vaccines, treatments and tests as early as this fall, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said on Tuesday.

"One of the things we've spent a lot of time thinking about in the last many months -- and we're going to continue this work, and you'll hear more from the administration on this -- is getting us out of that acute emergency phase where the US government is buying the vaccines, buying the treatments, buying the diagnostic tests," Jha said at an event sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

In the spring, the Biden administration asked Congress for $10 billion to fund continued pandemic response efforts, but a deal to pass the funding stalled.
Jha said the funding stalemate forced officials to repurpose money from other efforts, like building up supplies of tests and protective equipment for the strategic national stockpile.

Officials plan to use that money to buy updated vaccine booster shots that protect against the BA.4 and BA.5 coronavirus subvariants, which Jha said would be ready in early to mid-September.

"I would like to get to a point where every adult in America who wants a vaccine can get one. I'm hopeful we will be there. We're not quite there yet in terms of how many vaccine doses we've been able to buy," he said.

Jha said the transition to commercialization is complicated. It involves regulatory issues, market dynamic issues and equity issues, but the administration is working carefully and thoughtfully to get it right.

"Right now, everybody can walk into a CVS and get a vaccine. I want to make sure that when we make this transition, we don't end up at a point where nobody can get a vaccine because we didn't get the transition right," he said.

ha said some of the commercialization would start in the fall, but most would be visible in 2023.

He said it would be important for the government to continue to make investments in the development of the next generation of vaccines and in pandemic preparedness.

"But this business of day-to-day running of a pandemic, that needs to transition, and we're working very hard to make sure that transition is in a very orderly and transparent way so everybody sees it coming," he said.

Source:  Biden administration will stop buying Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests as early as this fall, Jha says