In the fall, the Biden administration plans to stop buying vaccines, treatments, and tests for the COVID-19 virus, according to White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha.
Dr. Jha told U.S. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Clark on Tuesday that the administration is working to move out of the crisis phase.
“One of the things we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about in the last many months — and we’re going to continue this work, and you’ll hear more from the administration on this — is getting us out of that acute emergency phase where the U.S. government is buying the vaccines, buying the treatments, buying the diagnostic tests,” Dr. Jha said.
“My hope is that in 2023, you’re going to see the commercialization of almost all of these products. Some of that is actually going to begin this fall in the days and weeks ahead. You’re going to see the commercialization of some of these things,” he continued.
Vaccines, boosters, and other treatments will become part of the healthcare system with the plan’s implementation. If any of these treatments are needed, a person can obtain them from their regular doctor or the hospital.
The plan will also include upgraded booster shots to combat emerging viral strains. If the CDC and FDA continue on schedule to approve the vaccines, they may be available in as little as three weeks, according to Dr. Jha.
Despite difficulties in sharing and allocating resources, Dr. Jha expressed hope that every adult in the country would have access to a booster.
“We’re still working on trying to pull more resources from other places,” he said. “I would like to get to a point where every adult in America who wants a vaccine can get one. I’m hopeful we will be there. We’re not quite there yet in terms of how many vaccine doses we’ve been able to buy.”
“What’s really limited us is a lack of resources, but we are pulling from other high-priority items. So my hope is that we’re going to be able to have this for every single adult in America. We will know more about that in the upcoming weeks, I think,” he added.
In addition, he urged the public to get their flu shots and updated COVID boosters as soon as possible, before winter arrives.
“Our healthcare system is going to get into serious trouble unless we are very proactive about preventing it — so if we do nothing and just sort of hope for the best, I think we could end up getting into a lot of trouble this fall and winter,” Dr. Jha said.