WASHINGTON, DC (NEXSTAR) — Vice President Kamala Harris toured a FEMA-run vaccination site in Florida on Monday as the U.S. moves one step closer to a fourth COVID-19 vaccine.
“When it’s your turn, go and get vaccinated,” Harris said. “That’s the message of the day.”
AstraZeneca reports its shot is 79 percent effective against illness and prevents 100 percent of severe or critical disease, and hospitalizations.
Dr. Anthony Fauci notes the World Health Organization and a number of countries have already approved the company’s vaccine.
“So the fact that a United States-run study has confirmed the efficacy and the safety of this vaccine, I think, is an important contribution to global health in general,” Fauci said.
Fauci said the results found no blood clot issues, which should help alleviate the safety concerns that briefly disrupted European distribution.
“You can rest assured that the FDA will put a great deal of scrutiny in every aspect of these data,” he said.
This comes as CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky reports the percentage of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Americans over 65 years old is lower than those age 26 to 45 for the first time since last summer.
“We have seen that the vaccines are working,” Walensky said.
Walensky said 42 percent of Americans over 65 are now fully vaccinated but warned against premature celebration.
“I am worried that if we don’t take the right actions now we will have another avoidable surge,” she said.
Walensky stressed states should keep their restrictions in place to keep variants from threatening the progress made with vaccinations.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki would not say how the AstraZeneca vaccine would contribute to nationwide and global vaccination efforts since the FDA has not yet authorized it.