White House COVID-19 Coordinator Jeff Zientes predicts a winter of severe illness and death for Americans who choose not to be vaccinated against the CCP virus that causes COVID-19.
“For the unvaccinated: you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death,” Zient said during a White House update on COVID-19 on Friday. “For yourself, for your families and hospitals that you can soon surpass.”
The grim report from the White House came a day after a group of advisers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted unanimously to recommend the agency to inform the public that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are preferable to the Johnson and Johnson (J&J ).
“Any vaccination is better than no vaccination,” said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walenski of J&J after the committee’s recommendation was approved.
In addition, Pfizer-BioNTech announced Friday that it will add a third dose of the vaccine to ongoing clinical trials in children aged six months and older, as two doses do not elicit a sustained immune response in children 2 to 5 years of age.
Meanwhile, the national average for daily COVID cases is about 119,500 per day, as are the average daily deaths and hospitalizations with about 7,800 new hospitalizations and about 1,200 deaths each day.
This is despite the fact that over 60 percent of the population is considered fully vaccinated.
Public health officials continue to promote vaccines even though, without booster vaccinations, data show the shots are only nominally effective against the new, more infectious Omicron variant, which is expected to become the dominant COVID strain in the US in the coming weeks.
“Obviously unvaccinated people [sic] are indeed at high risk of serious involvement, including hospitalization, ”said Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president.
Fauci admits “it’s still in the air” as to how much the severity of the Omicron variant compares to previous delta and alpha COVID strains.
Pfizer-BioNTech continues to push the development of a variant-specific vaccine for Omicron and expects it to be available by March.