Biden Officials Weigh Readiness As China Pandemic Unfolds

On Tuesday, the CDC said that it is in touch with Chinese health authorities on the recent surge in pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses in children in northern China.

On Monday, senior officials from the Biden administration met with pharmaceutical firms to discuss the production and distribution of vaccines against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

According to Reuters, 4,952 instances of RSV were diagnosed in the United States in the week ending November 4, marking the highest number since January previous winter. The trend started sharply in the middle of October.

In May, the FDA gave the first RSV vaccine the green light for use in the US. The British multinational firm GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (GSK) produces the vaccine Arexvy.

“The significance of manufacturers like Sanofi and AstraZeneca striving to satisfy demand with a feeling of urgency as we approach the winter season” was mentioned in Monday’s White House meeting summary, but the Chinese epidemic was not explicitly named.

Sanofi and AstraZeneca’s Beyfortus is a monoclonal antibody that treats RSV in newborns; in November, the CDC released 77,000 more doses of the drug. Babies less than eight months old who will be exposed to RSV for the first time during the autumn and winter, as well as older babies who are considered to be at high risk of illness, should be vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Congress is paying notice to the Bayfortus shortage. During his Monday speech at an East Hartford community clinic, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) accused Sanofi and AstraZeneca of failing to ensure a sufficient supply of the vaccine to meet the needs of private insurance plans and the government’s Vaccines for Children program.

International concern that China’s deceitful authoritarian dictatorship may unleash yet another global pandemic is justified, given the country’s repeated claims that it has contained its own large RSV outbreak.

Perhaps due to the ongoing impacts of the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic, last year’s RSV season was particularly harsh in several nations, the US included. The majority of the population typically achieves the development of natural immunity by acquiring and overcoming minor cases of RSV throughout the winter cold season. However, epidemiologists believe the pandemic and its lockdowns may have interrupted this process.