Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid-19 coordinator, warned about new variants under observation, and a deadly winter for thousands of Americans if they don’t take their boosters.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Dr. Jha urged Americans to get updated Covid boosters ahead of the holiday season. The White House official estimated there would be 90,000 deaths and one million hospitalizations if the American people did not comply.
Dr. Jha argued that all Americans over the age of 12 need to get their COVID shots annually.
On Tuesday, a reporter pushed back against the White House, since President Biden earlier said the pandemic was “over.”
But Joe Biden said pandemic is over. pic.twitter.com/Ebi8cXHs04
— Becker News (@NewsBecker) October 11, 2022
Politico reports that the Biden administration expects that only 5% of the eligible U.S. population will have gotten their updated boosters ahead of the winter flu season.
Meanwhile, several European nations are ending their recommendations that healthy young persons get the Covid shots. Denmark announced earlier in September that the Covid shots are no longer recommended for healthy individuals under age 50.
“The Danish Health Authority (DHA) expects that the number of covid-19 infections will increase during autumn and winter,” the DHA announced. “Therefore, we recommend vaccination of people aged 50 years and over as well as selected risk groups.”
“With the autumn vaccination programme, we aim to prevent serious illness, hospitalisation and death,” the DHA continued. “The risk of becoming severely ill from covid-19 increases with age. Therefore, people who have reached the age of 50 and particularly vulnerable people will be offered vaccination.”
The Swedish health authority also announced a change to its guidance in a notice at the end of September.
“The general recommendation for basically healthy children aged 12–17 years to vaccinate against covid-19 ends after 31 October,” the notice said in Swedish. “The reason is the very low risk of serious illness and death from covid-19 in children and young people. In the future, vaccination against Covid-19 is recommended for children in special groups.”
“During the pandemic, few children and young people have become seriously ill from covid-19,” the notice goes on. “Current knowledge and epidemiology show that the virus variants for SARS-CoV-2 cause increasingly mild symptoms for fundamentally healthy children and young people, and that immunity in the group is very high.”
“At this stage of the pandemic, we do not see a continued need for vaccination in this group. Therefore, we are removing the recommendation on general vaccination against covid-19 for ages 12 to 17,” says Sören Andersson, head of unit at the Public Health Agency.
There is also the matter of enhanced immunity due to prior infection, also known as “natural immunity.” The National Institute of Health’s seroprevalence data show that 99% of Americans have been exposed to Covid-19 and have survived with nucleocapsid antibodies — and that is of December 2021. And in June, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing natural immunity is more effective than vaccinated immunity alone. Johns Hopkins University earlier found in a landmark study published in January that 99% of unvaccinated people who had Covid infections gained “natural immunity” that did not diminish for at least 650 days.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.