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White House Observes 'Significant' Uptick in COVID Vaccinations as Fauci, Moderna Stress Boosters

© REUTERS / Jose Luis GonzalezA Mexican woman receives a dose of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, during a binational vaccination program, at the Tornillo-Guadalupe international bridge, in Tornillo, Texas, U.S., July 28, 2021
A Mexican woman receives a dose of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, during a binational vaccination program, at the Tornillo-Guadalupe international bridge, in Tornillo, Texas, U.S., July 28, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.08.2021
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The US, as well as Germany, France and Israel, have all conveyed they will not oblige the World Health Organization's (WHO) request for wealthier nations to halt administering COVID-19 vaccine boosters until September. The WHO said that, even with the raging Delta variant, it "cannot accept" the current inequality with the global vaccine supply.
As cases of the highly transmissible variant continue to surge in the US, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients revealed on Thursday that more than 864,000 COVID vaccine doses were administered the day prior, amounting to the US' highest national vaccination rate since July 3. 
Approximately 585,000 individuals received their first jab on Wednesday, which suggests that most of the individuals were new to the vaccination process. 
For the fourth week in a row, we've increased the 'daily average number of Americans newly vaccinated,'" Zients said during a COVID response briefing.
"Importantly, we're seeing the most significant increases in states with the highest case rates," he added, noting the US states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi have recorded vaccination rates that have not been seen since April.  
The rise in Tennessee's first-time vaccine doses comes just a few weeks after the controversial termination of Dr. Michelle Fiscus, who served as head of the Tennessee Department of Health's vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization program, over allegations that she was inappropriately promoting the COVID-19 vaccine to teens and other minors. Additionally, vaccine outreach programs for all diseases were canceled by the department at the time. 
"Clearly Americans are seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and unprotected," Zients said on Thursday, "and they’re responding by doing their part, rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated." 
As vaccination efforts continue in the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, claimed during the same news conference that the Biden administration intends to procure COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for immunocompromised Americans "as quickly as possible." 
"It is extremely important for us to move to get those individuals their boosters," Fauci said, noting that immunocompromised people are "vulnerable." 
"And we are now working on that and will make that be implemented as quickly as possible ... it is a very high priority." 
According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the WHO's call for a booster moratorium will not be respected because the US believes it can supply every American with access to both a COVID-19 vaccine and related booster shot. 
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel fueled talks of a forthcoming booster jab during a Thursday interview on Fox Business "Mornings with Maria." Bancel told host Maria Bartiromo that the company has already produced human-tested boosters of the South Africa strain and Beta variant. However, more time is needed to develop the Delta booster.  
"[W]e’ve announced this morning that we’re also working on the delta booster and so that data is going to come together in the coming months," he said. 
"And so it’s important that people who are vaccinated a long time ago, especially with vaccines that have had lower efficacy, be protected so they are not hospitalized this fall and winter," Bancel explained. 
Moderna's booster could be available for some demographics in the US "as soon as September," according to the CEO. 
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