“The best way to prevent the emergence of new variables is to do all the things that we talked about for months,” infectious disease expert Dr. Celine Gunder told CNN on Sunday evening. “The more you allow the virus to spread, the more it mutates, the more variants you have.”
“I would say one of the biggest problems at the moment is that I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have,” Wallinski told Fox News. “If I can’t tell them that, I can’t tell governors about it and I can’t tell state health officials.”
“If they don’t know how much vaccine they’re getting, not just this week but next week and the week after that, they can’t plan.”
It will take months from now for the vaccine to become widely available to the American public, said Gunder, who is also a former member of Biden’s Transitional Covid-19 Advisory Board.
“We are looking forward to probably mid-summer, or the end of summer, before the average healthy young American gets vaccinated,” Gunder told CNN on Sunday.
The expert says the United States should strengthen the goal of vaccination
“We’re now getting nearly a million doses a day on average, and that’s a very good path to get to where President Biden wants,” Dr. Francis Collins told MSNBC on Saturday.
“We need to do better than a million shots a day,” Dr. Jonathan Rayner, professor of medicine at George Washington University, told CNN Sunday.
Rayner explained that most of the injections currently being administered are first doses.
“But as we progress, more and more vaccinations every day will be the second vaccination, so the number of new vaccinations will start to decrease until we reach a point in the not-too-distant future where vaccines are given every day with 50% follow-up and 50% new vaccinations.”
“We need to do a better job. We need to vaccinate about two million people every day. That should be the goal,” Rainer added.
Agencies are expanding the scope of variable monitoring
Meanwhile, Walinsky said Sunday that the CDC and other agencies have increased monitoring and studies on the new variants so that we can “monitor these variables as well as monitor” their effect on vaccines.
“We have to assume now that what is being traded predominantly in the UK has a certain degree of increase in what we call virulence, that is, the power of the virus to cause more damage including death,” Fauci told CBS on Sunday.
Fauci said that this alternative has not yet been discovered in the United States, but “we need to expand the scope of genetic surveillance significantly.”
“We know it wasn’t at the level we wanted it to be, but there is a lot of movement now at the CDC level, including some input from the National Institutes of Health and other organizations, to dramatically increase what we call genetic surveillance.”
“We must be prepared” for more virus changes
To many experts, the variables are alarming but not surprising.
The biggest lesson to be learned is that the virus will continue to change – and the United States must be prepared for that, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Biden’s candidate for the US Surgeon General, told ABC on Sunday.
“We are in a race against these variables, sharing viruses and it is up to us to adapt and make sure we move forward,” he said.
This means that there has to be much better monitoring so that variables can be identified as they emerge, that public health measures must be doubled and that greater investment in treatment strategies should be increased, Murthy said.
“Above all, this means we have to invest a lot in testing and in contact tracing, because there will also be fundamental importance,” Murthy added.
CNN’s Naomi Thomas and Lauren Mascarenas contributed to this report.