U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union tackle throughout a joint session of Congress within the U.S. Capitol’s Home Chamber March 01, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Win Mcnamee | Getty Photographs
President Joe Biden on Tuesday mentioned the U.S. stands able to quickly deploy new vaccines within the occasion one other Covid variant emerges, whereas reassuring Individuals the U.S. is shifting towards normalcy after two years of disruption attributable to the virus.
“I can’t promise a brand new variant will not come, however I can promise you we’ll do all the pieces inside our energy to be prepared if it does,” Biden mentioned throughout his first State of the Union speech Tuesday night. “If mandatory, we’ll have the ability to deploy new vaccines inside 100 days as an alternative of many extra months or years,” the president mentioned.
The omicron variant upended the U.S. in December and January, quickly sweeping the nation and inflicting an unprecedented surge of infections that pushed many hospitals throughout the nation to the brink. Pfizer and Moderna are each engaged on vaccines that concentrate on omicron.
Nonetheless, Biden mentioned the U.S. has reached a brand new second within the pandemic, with extreme instances of Covid declining to a stage not seen since July. The president mentioned most Individuals can now go about their lives masks free below new tips issued by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention final week. Biden mentioned extra of the nation may also meet CDC tips for safely ditching masks within the subsequent two weeks.
The president sought to reassure Individuals who’re nonetheless working that they will safely return to the workplace. Nearly all of federal staff will work in particular person once more, Biden mentioned.
“With 75% of grownup Individuals absolutely vaccinated and hospitalizations down by 77%, most Individuals can take away their masks, return to work, keep within the classroom, and transfer ahead safely,” the president mentioned.
Individuals who get examined at a pharmacy and are constructive for Covid will have the ability to obtain antiviral tablets on the spot for free of charge, Biden mentioned. The administration will launch a whole lot of websites at CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger this month in addition to neighborhood well being facilities, a White Home official mentioned. The president additionally mentioned Individuals can order extra free Covid checks, at covidtests.gov, beginning subsequent week.
Biden additionally sought to reassure dad and mom of kids below 5-years-old that scientists are working diligently to authorize the Covid vaccine for his or her youngsters. He mentioned the U.S. can have sufficient vaccines prepared when the authorization does come by. Youngsters below 5 are the one age group left within the U.S. that’s not eligible for the vaccine.
The Meals and Drug Administration had sought to quickly approve the first-two doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine for youngsters six months to 4-years-old final month. Nonetheless, the FDA delayed these plans as a result of the information did not meet expectations. The drug regulator is now ready for knowledge on Pfizer’s third dose, which is anticipated in April.