White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients predicts a winter of severe illness and death for Americans who decide to not take the vaccination for the CCP virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
“For the unvaccinated: you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death,” said Zients during a White House COVID-19 update Friday. “For yourselves, your families and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.”
The grim message from the White House comes a day after a panel of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unanimously voted to recommend the agency tell the public that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are preferred to the jab from Johnson & Johnson (J&J).
“Any vaccination is better than no vaccination,” said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky of the J&J jab after endorsing the panel’s recommendation.
Additionally, Pfizer-BioNTech announced Friday they will add a third vaccine dose to ongoing clinical trials on children as young as six months as two doses do not produce a robust immune response in kids 2 to 5 years old.
Meanwhile, the national average for daily COVID cases ticks up to about 119,500 per day as have the average daily deaths and hospitalizations with about 7,800 new admissions and about 1,200 deaths each day.
This despite more than 60 percent of the population being considered fully vaccinated.
Public health officials continue to push vaccines even though without a booster shot, data shows the jabs to be only nominally effective against the new, more transmissible Omicron variant which is expected to become the dominant strain of COVID in the U.S. in the coming weeks.
“Clearly unvaccinated individuals [sic] are really at a high risk of serious involvement, including hospitalization,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s Chief Medical Advisor.
Fauci concedes “it’s still up in the air” as to how the severity of the Omicron variant compares to the previous Delta and Alpha strains of COVID.
Pfizer-BioNTech continues to advance the development of a variant-specific vaccine for Omicron and expects to have it available by March.