WH: Can't play 'whac-a-mole' with vaccine supply

The White House COVID-19 Task Force is doubling down on its decision not to send an influx of vaccines to Michigan, where the state is experiencing a spike in cases. (April 12)

Video Transcript

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: CDC's most recent data show the seven-day average for new cases has increased about 3% over the prior seven-day period to over 66,000 cases daily. Hospital admissions also continue to increase. The most recent seven-day average, a little over 5,300 admissions per day, is a 6.6% increase from the prior seven-day period.

We know that if vaccines go in arms today, we will not see an effect of those vaccines, depending on the vaccine, for somewhere between two to six weeks. So when you have an acute situation, um, extraordinary number of cases like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccine. In fact, we know that the vaccine will have a delayed response.

The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to go back to where we were last spring-- um, last summer and to-- to shut things down to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another, to test to the extent that we have available to-- to contact trace. Sometimes we can't even do it at the capacity that you need. [INAUDIBLE] we need that vaccine in other places. If we vaccinate today, um, we will have impact in six weeks. And we don't know where the next place is going to be that is going to surge.

ANDY SLAVITT: You have to remember the fact that, um, in the next two to six weeks, the variants that we've seen in-- in Michigan, those variants are also president-- present in other states. So our ability to vaccinate people quickly-- although each of those states rather than taking vaccines and shifting it, uh, to playing whack-a-mole isn't the strategy that, um, public health leaders and scientists have-- have laid out.