"We will still have access to free vaccines and drugs," after the US COVID-19 pandemic emergency ends in May. "Testing may be a challenge in the sense that it's not currently covered, and we've got to look at how we're going to cover that."
"People are trying to figure out 'Well, how do we adjust to this virus [SARS-CoV-2]?' We could make this decision today to go with a once-a-year vaccine. But what happens if a new variant emerges in July and suddenly has major changes for the world?"
“Every day, I hear from people who are misinformed by their physicians or call-in nurse lines. Generally, they’re being told you can’t get Paxlovid until you’re seriously ill—which is just the opposite of what’s recommended. Why are we not doing more to educate the medical community?”
“None of us yet really understand how to interpret the scientific information that continues to come in on variants and subvariants and try to translate that into meaningful public health policy—or for that matter, how to even talk about it. I think we’re in a place right now where we’re trying to understand: How do we talk about this [in a way] that’s meaningful to people and that has public health consequence?”
"This [COVID-19] is still a very substantial public health problem. And you can declare whatever you want because you want to move on. But don't confuse the fact that the virus doesn't care what your policy statements are."
“[The updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters] still provide a level of immunity that may not prevent you from getting infected but may have a significant impact on whether or not you become seriously ill and die. I mean, right now, the most recent data we have shows that for those who have the bivalent vaccine, they have a three-fold lower risk of dying than those who don’t.”
"What we're seeing in China poses a really significant challenge for transmission. This virus is every bit as infectious now there, as measles virus, which is considered one of the most infectious viruses on the face of the earth. We've surely seen that this virus can change. It can do more... very damaging things over time."
“What’s happened with the COVID vaccines is they’ve become much more like the flu vaccine, where you do need these booster doses with some regularity. In this case with the flu, obviously, we do it annually, and with COVID, it could get to the point where it’s every six months or so.”
"This pandemic is just going to blow through (China) in the next weeks. It's unfortunate they didn't think about this six or 10 months ago. They could have bought themselves time to be in a better position."
"I don’t think anything looks good for China right now. Its 1.4 billion people are at increased risk of contracting this virus for the first time, and these first infections surely pose the risk of serious disease, including hospitalizations and deaths.”