COVID-19 task force member: White House ‘infusing equity’ into vaccine response

Dr. Cameron Webb, White House senior policy adviser for COVID-19 equity, discusses the challenges facing the country in the distribution of vaccines.
8:35 | 02/24/21

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Transcript for COVID-19 task force member: White House ‘infusing equity’ into vaccine response
Posting news on vaccines front executives of the major drug companies tell Kong which could not vaccines for 130 million Americans by the end of next month but the pressure is on to beat the variants that are spreading much like California Barry at news studies determine just how much more contagious it might teach you the pilgrim has the latest on the. Tonight vaccine makers vowing to get doses out faster to meet that promise timeline enough shots for all US adults by the end of July. Pfizer doubling the pace of production cutting manufacturing time from 110 days to an average of sixty. We anticipate that I'll get up to thirteen million doses a week by the end Marcia McDermott expecting to double its current shipments by April and are targeting delivery of the second hundred million dollars or who. By the end but medic and a third hundred million doses by the end of July a full two months ahead of schedule. And now a third company Johnson & Johnson releasing. Saying it can deliver enough of its one dose vaccine to immunize twenty million Americans by the end of march. Just about half of what they were contracted to deliver by then. Johnson and Johnson's vaccine could be authorized as early as late Friday. We're prepared to ship immediately and art emergency use authorization. Are nearly four million dollars. Welcome news after winter storms caused vaccine shipping delays and shortages this as two new studies found the California bury it appears to be more contagious. The more research needs to be done. These results are are quite concerning because it it suggests that bush we have identified the emergence of a new variant of the spreading very rapidly in California and also armed that appears to be more infection. Meanwhile more Covert restrictions easing in some states in New York sports arena is reopening for the first time in nearly a year at 10% capacity. Madison Square Garden will welcome 2000 fans Barclays allowing 300 tonight. To attend a game fans need a recent negative coded PCR test rapid tests will be available at the arena masks and social distancing will be required. You can see that seat that we've designated as socially distance seeing pods groups either to report. In our thanks to you I'm joined now by doctor Cameron Webb the senior advisor on the White House cub in nineteen rests on steam from the university of Virginia school of medicine and thank you so much for joining us tonight doctor. So more than 44 million people have received at least one dose of the code of vaccines are foreign executives from Pfizer and Derrick testified today that their contract to produce enough doses church 300 million Americans by the end of July with an additional 100 million from Johnson Jones change if they received FDA emergency artery is a church but the big challenge of course remains distribution. What do you say right now as the greatest hurdles to getting those doses out to Americans as quickly as possible and what could improve this process. Well there are a couple of things I think first and inform us in making sure it. We have really good channels through sixth. Signaling to the business from that manufacturers. Also get them from the State's into the arms of the folks era are sit high and so. Making sure that we're we're always getting this vaccine doses of the place really need to go to permanent fearless and grinned at Kandahar or to automation that's how. But I'm but I think it's proceeding on schedule listing as. As he said we're slow ramp up into this is every week since. Came into into the White House record days ago were higher at 87% so light where. Where things are going terms of the trajectory and we should be pasted to get those doses to the three million people on in the current president port. You sound rather optimistic but certainly anyone who's tried to sign up for a vaccine or how relative to do so has faced the challenges actual the current system should the Biden administration be doing more to try to streamline distribution and sign up process on the federal level but it's not so she's meal from city to city and state to state. Well in Indio on Elena timber that that optimism because anything can choose the matter is we have. To work hard justice shall sun is actually needs to be done in every state that clear. A little bit differently. I think there's a lot of coordination from the federal staying put in the states certainly administering or do vaccine and also we have these federal site reusing well we're complementing the process in the state with these New York federal architects we set up our large community vaccination centers. Our regional pharmacy programs are community health centers so we're trying to make sure there are more and more in use vaccination. And what I always mindful folks. The huge matter is we are currently in a moment where we're risking a number doses that are available. We'll get to a point where you have a lot more doses are available yet to make sure you structure mission to accommodate gotten I think we're I think we're heading that direction so I think guns yes it is still a lot of people I think the hope is it. You know in the next weeks or months we should have a dynamic where everybody who's over 61. One in anything beyond that will get you'll get to the point where everywhere I want. And if so equity issues related to -- -- nineteen and we've certainly seen headlines in recent weeks and despite efforts minority groups are still not being vaccinated each at the same rates as white Americans want to just about one of those headlines from the Wall Street Journal yesterday on the situation California and the headline is California's losing its campaign an accident racial minorities equitably each and the article notes at black and Latino Californians collectively account for 59% of the saints reported to in nineteen infections but make up 19% of those who've been vaccinated in contrast. White residents account for 20% of infections and 33%. Of vaccine recipient is first just tell us what you're seeing from your position on how prevalent each of these types of disparities are when it comes to equitable vaccine distribution and why these gaps still persist. Mercy needs gets lots of places all countries. They're one of the persons who recall cooers is good data in terms of what the vaccination process looks like in states and counties. All over the country and wants we have that in a nation we can see exactly what does it look like to Wear the dose all these communities. He's done just that means that rule wasn't the challenges that we're haven't. And certainly we talk about vaccine hesitancy to become a a common trees across the country but it really boils down to a couple of different dynamics in what is competent vaccine. Your safety and efficacy. The institutions that are distributing it and then ultimately the reasons why that the you know government officials are telling you take your free copy and he's in the next the convenience piece that's actually. Access two places to get backs needed and automation have. That have boat gets confidence they have. Access to the vaccines it was the dynamics that were constantly contending it my fingers if you are acting hasn't seen communities ABC and a level organizational hesitancy in terms of understanding what had begun to get out there and get those Brett goes Lexington to the communities that have been hardest hit highest risk. Who worked on all fronts to make sure you know we navigate all. Wrestling what. Most important steps of the Biden administration contained to help close those gaps and ending she'll that enough is being done at the federal level. But there's always more than can be done I think important to us or taking you so we've really used equity in every secular vaccine. And so you look at all of the federal vaccination programs that exist or can you vaccination centers. They certainly equity I didn't Wear us and our regional arms he seems sure this is true as our our community health centers program army considering using equity and making sure it was doses are going to the community and hardest hit. Edit every step on the way I'm one of the most important things is feedback from the community that happen aren't thinking be a mistake. Try to design this and execute our constant amount of feedback I directional input. You know into what the organ is gonna look to continuing to see battery during a series is sequel round tables this week actually engaging with a lot of immigrant reiterated continued to get new and better information to make sure reaching the community that it can't have been the hardest hit their highest risk. And and that's our that's our clintons are promising the American people want to make sure this. Doctor Cameron Webb appreciate your insight and thank you very tar. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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