tv HHS Secretary Azar Surgeon General Hold COVID-19 Vaccine News Conference CSPAN December 15, 2020 2:03am-2:47am EST
thank you for joini us. my name is kimberl russo and the chief executive officer of the george wasngton university hospital. onehalf of the entire team at gw hospital we are so honored to host the u.s. departmt of health and humanervices and e u.s. surgeon general for today's historic event. as you know hospital cegivers across our nation have been on theront lines of battling covid-19 and i have been truly proud and humbled by the ongoing commitment, dedication and teamwork of o care team. unwaveringly they continu to come together to be here to serve our comnity and these diffict times. as they have been comtted to our patients toughout this time we have been committed on caring for our team and their safety has remained our number one priority ande are thrilled to begin the next phase in
helping to protect them as they continue to care for all of us. today we will take a momentous step in beginning torovide our caregivers with this vaccine. we look forward to making this available to everyone who is interested in receiving it and we are also thankful for our cagivers now they have that tion of this added protection. i would like to thank all our healthcare and government partners, iluding the u.s. dertment of health and hum services, district govnment, mayor bowser and dc health. your partnership has been vital and so appreciated. i also want to once again thank everyone who is joining us here today and ofourse, i want to thank the staff of gw hospital and all the front line across our country and the world who have been so pivotal in helng us get through this. i, like allf you, look forward to overcoming covid-19 and look forward to a very bright and healthy future. i would now like to tn it over to dean of the dw school of
medicine and health sciences and o of the gw medical fast city associate doctor farber bass. >> thank you, kim. great to be here. welcome and thank you secretary azar and surgeon general adams for your commitmt and service to healt and wellness ofur naon. it is a great honor for the george washington university to have us here today toecognize this national moment as we begin the process of vaccinating the people of our nation starting this very day with our frontline healthcare workers. today's frozen vaccine delivery that dear little box filled with the effective safe vaccines protectndividuals in our community that arrived just a few hours ago is our hope for a healthr future. this vaccine and the other soon to come are our tools to lead us down the pathway to a post covid americ and we know this
pandemic has impacted all aspects of our lives for everyone and that theuman toll in all forms has been and continues to be staggering. we have also seen this pdemic has highlighted details and equity in our communities of color in our nation andet's use this moment as a vital first step to break up pattern of and focus on this incdible moment that we have availab to us today in this are mkable new vaccine to interrupt this dread disease for all. we must in the trust of all our citizens to join us in this vaccination crusade in o nation. here at gw echoing ceo russo's comments we are especiallyroud of all the constitutions and sacrifices from our faculty, nurses, doctors, trainees, staff, studentsave made in service to our patients and our community over these last only ten months.
they've bn great, relentless and honorable. membersf the massive healcare enterprise of the united states have made all the differences this year and saving so many lives. we are grateful to the acadec biomedical reseah centers throughout o nation and the global biotech industry that has delivered this success in record beyond our wildest dreams which speed and efficacy. here at gw we a proud that we serve for another soon to be released covid vaccine and so grateful to those individuals particated in volunteers to get us to the other sidef this pandemic. here at gw weill launch another trial in january for our work agast this disease is not yet done and we still need individuals to participa in those upcoming clinical trials to ensure w have vaccination
pathways for everyone. but today here at gw and around the nation were part of history and a we each receive our vacnations, each in our term and in the months ahead we are all part of the solution to endhis pandemic. let's celebrate this moment and then persevere in our essential wo in patient care, public health and research and to move us to those bright days we know are ahead. it i my honor to introduce orange welcomeur surgeon general admiral adams. in queue. >>nd cute so much for that kind introduction and for the work that you are doing here at gw to keep our nations capital and my own family who livednd work in this region safe. toda is truly a historic day.
vaccinations have been a tried and true public health measure for hundreds of years but the development of a covid-19 vaines nothing short of revolutiary and i hope everyone appreciates the importance and theignificance in the history of thisoment. we have our research committee across the country and the globe thank for their herculean efforts to bring us to where the lights of the end of this long and dark tunnel a it is worth adding that we have people of color represented among the research we develophe vaccine and the scientists and doctors who reviewed it and that tens of thousands of study particints who have bvely volunteered so they could prove that vaccine safety and its efficacy. thank you to all of you and we uld not have done it without you. but and this is an important but, having a vaccine is only
the fst step. we must now move from vaccine to vaccinations and it would be a great traged if disparities worsened becausehe people who could most benefit fromhis vaccine won't take i i've often said vaccines are one of our greatest sial injustices in thi country and so ensuring that all americans have an equitable opportunity to receive the vaccinend promoting vaccine confidence and equitable upke will be critical as we want to save lives and ensure theroduction of all americans against covid-19 and and this pandemic. we know lack of trust is a major cause for reluctance, especially in communiti of color. that lack of trust is not without good reason as the tuskegee studiesccurred within many of our own lifetimes. to truly combat vaccine hesitancy and encourage diverse enrollment in clinical trials we mumust first acknowledge this rl histor of mistreatment and
exultation of minorities at the medical community and the government. the thing we need to explain and demonstrate allhat has been done to address these wros and the otections and safeguards in place like the hhs offe of human research protection and independent institution review boar and data and safety monitoring board to make sure tragies like the tuskegee syphilis study were the exultation of henrietta never happens again. filly, we have to work hard to engage trusted voices and medicals serving organizations like the national medal association and the national hispanic medical association and the natnal black nurses association and fth leaders and community gatekeepers in minority communities to help build trust in the safetynd efficacy of the clinical vaccination process. i've worked with vaccine since augu 2 ensure that we have diverse reprentation in this trial and i've been working with
historically black college a university presidents, including dc's own howard university and athletes andnfluencers, paors, rabbis and imams to educate our most vulnerable about the safety and efficacy of these vaccines. hhs under the direction of secretary azar has a vaccine consultation panel that give us feedba and serves as connection points, educators and megaphones t communities of color. but while we again today administering the firstoses of this vaccine to the people in places where it will be most immediately impactful we must keep following the 3w's until we achieve widespread distribution and uptak of covid-19 vaccination. member to wash her hands and let me demonstrate it right here r you. rememb to wash your watch your stances and to continue wearing your mask. be concerned about risg cases and deaths and therefore
cautious in your day to day action but also be confident in the finish line to this marathon is in sight and remember that we can't finish the race without each and every one of you and he reduce the burden o folks like the clinicians here with us today getting their vaccination and by following t 3w's and getting yourlu shot now by getting vaccinated against covid-19 soon as you are able. i want to finish by thinking you secretary azar for you incredible leadership throughout the development and distributional of the covid-19 vaccine and f always pushing hhs to address disparities in diversity as we tackle this pandemic. as you've often saide should be proud on this day but we should als be doggedly persistent and the pursuit of equity and an end to this pandemic. with tha i would like to turn the podium over to you,
secretary azar for your rarks. >> well, thank you admiral adams for bei here today and thank you for your constant leadersp in promoting the value of vaccinations athis time in ov the last severalears. i want to thank the team here at gw for welcomi us here today and the mayor bows are for joining us and for h partnership throughout this crisis. we are here today because of the extraordinary medical achievement that our country has delivered this week. the president tru's operation warp speedubstantial quantities in the faceafe and effective vaccine whin a year after the virus was first known to t world and today of ce providers across america are going to work to administer vaccines for the mt vulnerable d fellow healthcare workers. here at gw we are marking a remonial kickoff for this national vaccination program and what w will see her today i
representative of what is happening across america now. what you see here today is also aeminder that is exceptional as operaon warp speed is administering vaccines is somethg our healthcare system knows how to do very well indeed. our hospitals, pharmacies and other healthcare delivery sites have administered 100 million flu vaccines every year and here at gw the covid9 vaccine is being a ministered to empyees essentiay just like the flu ccine is. i also want to praise the thoughtful work tt gw has done to determi how to allocate early shipments of vaccines among its team and anazing data about which healthcare workers a at greatest risk for contracting the virus and which are at higher risk for serious outcomes from the disease. states and communities across the country like dc can use data like this to make the right decisions for how to allocate vaccines and using the recommendations of experts, their own bt judgment and
theiriews on their own local situation. you're also here and i'll be a many vaccination sites in the coming weeks to underscore that we a receiving the covid-19 vaccine as exciting as it is is just like getting a other saf and effective vaccine that americans received to protect us fromllness. i was pleased to see a new abc poll released thi morning finding that more than eight in ten americans say they plan to get the vaccine but we still have more work to do and educating ameca about the safety and efficacy o these vaccines. this fda authorized vaccine in each covid-19 vcine that is fda potentially authorized will have been through the typical numerous stage of safety review and more. this vaccine has gone through clinical trials was larger tn manyaccine trials and gone through the drug companies ecks and it is gone through an
independent data and safety monitoring board and gone through the fda independent advisory committee and it has been subjected to fda guidelines publicly published stating what they would require for approval and finally it has been authorized by fda's career scientific experts as i promised. at 95% efficacy this vaccine is extraordinarily effecte at protecting you fm the virus and getting vaccinate will help keep you and your famy and ur country healthy and safe. with that, i will hand things over to the docr so he can explain more about how the ministration process is working here at gw. thank you very much. >> good afternoon everyone. thank you very much, sretary
azar and surgeon general atoms. it is an honor to be part of today' event. my name is doctor bruno and the chf medical officer here at the george washington university hospital and i'm thrilledo be here today on such a historic moment in public health. as our head of ergency magement and an emergency management position myself i have seen firsthand the negative effect of covid-19. there is no dou the covid-19 has put a strain on all of u especially the most honorable individuals battling on the front lines. this remkable that only nine months ago into this pandec we have a vaccine that has been shown to both be effective and safe. we wanted t thank our operation warppeed and i'm extremely pleased to be able to begin offering the vaccine to our essential care workers. i also want t thank our partners aut the school of
medicineere with the george shington university in the gw medical fulty associates and also doctor william borde our partner who's been working so digently with us on the algorithms and so many components of the vaccine adnistration. i look forward to taking this vaccine wn my turn comes and i highly encourage everyone to seriously consider being vaccinated when the opportunity arises. this vaccine is just o more way that we can help beat covid-19 along with ongoing masking and ppe use, hand hygiene and social distancing. i lk forward to caring forur caregivers as they continue to care for our pients. here at the george washington university hospital we are committed to providing this vaccine and a fair, equitable and transparent manner to our teams. we worked diligently toreate an algorithm that allocates the vaccine in alignment with
guidance onoth the federal government and dc health. along these guidelines we have identified the first priority of individuals to caring for patients at first point of contact befor we know they are covid-19 status. these individuals i now emergency department and labor delivery a well. within those groups w are working prioritizing individuals over the age of 65 and tt is why those with coldorbidities covid-19 disease. following the group we will be prioritizing individuals caring focovid-19ositive patients and connue to follo this algorithm with regard to age and core morbidities. all of this bei said we lk forward to ming this vaccine available to all of our essentia caregivers and tha are interested in receiving the ccine in the coming months. once again, want to pause and reflect on how much this is
truly a historical event and mont in our termination. thank you to everyone who worked so tirelessly to make this vaccine possible and to all of the healthcare workers here at gw hospital a across the world who are getting us through this unparalleled time in helping us save lives. we cannot do this withut our team and we look forward to overcoming this together. i'm plsed to welcome lillian fr our employee health would provide the vaccines. >> i'm also pleased to welcome our first vaccine recipients. [applause] she's a nursing supervisor in the emergency department and barbara has been in longtanding ed nurse at gw hospital in the vast experience of emergency medic department nursing and i asked barbara to
educate many nurses. please, go ahead barbara. >> hello, barbara. welcome. may i see your folder? could you please confirm with me that this is your name and birthday. >> it is. >> and that we hav pre- consented you for before we give the vaccine. >> y have. >> we have given you educaon about the eua of pfizeraccine. >> you have. any questions or conrns for me? >> non- whatsoever. >> which arm will be redoing today f your vaccine? eat. please take off your jacket.
historic moment ineing vaccinated. ve well, i'm not throat to welcome our second recipient, second recipient is doctor raymond flaw and anesthesiologist. his work brings them in close contact with covid-19 patients in t emergency department as well as on labor and delivery. heelps to manage the airway o covid patients which represents the highest healthcare risk to providers. doctor. i'm an anesthesiologist,oo. >> alright, alright. right. i appciate what you are doing. >> hello. can i actuallyust have your folder? i want to confirm you name and birthday
okay. this is your nam and birthday? >> correct. >> we provided you with the eua of the pfizer vaccine? any questions or ccerns? >> no. >> i will be doing your left a today. [inaudible] >> how long ago did you extract those syringes? >> that was done in pharmacy and i picked them up at 2:15. [background noises]
that exist and latent biased and sometimes conscious bias further sets o that mistrust of vaccines and the medical community more broadly. so i think it's important for black and brown communities and members of such to see members that look and walk and understand the stories and understand whas going on that this person looks like me and understas mend feels safe and trusts the virus and vaccine and feels comfoable getting it and phaps i need to rethink this at the very lst ask my doctors and take that step forward. this isn't just the best way forward, this is the best and only way forward. >> and i think that is the key.
ask your doctor if you have questions. don't let misinformation be the reason tt youre not getting everything you needo be your healthiest self. i want to be clear. an anesthesiologists a doctor. yo went to four years o medicaschools and four years of residency and are a licensed physician andelt thi vaccine was safe; correct? >> absolutely. >> thank you so much. [applause] >> here you go. thank you. thank you. please to welcome our trd vaccine recipient, an stetrician working on labor and delivery. she works in close contact with women who are known or could be positive for covid-19 and wor hard to ensure a safe and healthy delivery process for both mother and infant.
>> welcome. as secretary a' azar, we heard e four women expss they have skippe or haven't been able to go in for the prenatal appointment because of the paemic. what are your thought on this vacce for pregnant women? >> we are lucky he to have the vacce available and we are so grateful to the administration for pushing th vaccine through. i think this willelcome our patients bk. protecting our healthcare workers as wel
we have been utilizing an app to he patients remotely t contact their physicians. but there's nothing greater tha the actual in person visit to connect with healthcare priders and create that trust that is vital for accepting parents. >>o be clear what do you say to pregnant women about when they can get a vaccine? >> currently the american college of ob/gyn and the society for medicine has put o a statement tha despite their not beg data yet available that lactating women, people expecting and people whwant to get pregnant tt the vaccine shouldn't be withheld fm them and just like every other decisi we make in labor and delivery, we dit with our paent so it will be opening up a conversation to let patient know that the vaccine is available and if they are a candidate for itnd they are willing toake the vaccine that
we wld encourage theto do that as well. >> and whatre the safest things we can do is to make sure th providers are protected, so thank u for being here today. >> thank you, sir. >> can you confirm this is your namend birthdate on the consent form and we have csent prior to the vaccination and have provided you witthe educion, emergency contact a pfizer biotech vcine. do you have any questions before we proceed? and which arm will we beoing today? >> the right. >> okay. >> are you sure? >> yes. [laughter] which one is your delivering arm. [laughter] >> alright i'm going to ask you
to pull your sleeve up. going to wipe here; a little cold. nice deep breath in thrgh your nose and out through your mouth. little poke. one, two three. all right. all done. thank you there you go. [applause] >> congratulations and thank you. please alte come the fourth rect of a charlie stert. charlie is a nurse in lab and
delivery, and as a nurse at th bedside of the laboring mother charlie is a wonderful advocate fo her patients and ensuring the delivery proce is always patient cenred. >>welcome. just want to confirm thathis is your ne and birthday and we've provided you with the accurate consent and information abt the covid vaccine. okay. do you hav any questions or concerns prior to proceedin and which arm will we be doing today? >> right. >> okay. let's switch sides. no problem.
good. >> how does it feel, compared to the flu shot? >> yep, not bad at all. >> and your paperwork. [applause] there you go. coratulations. i'm now pleased to welcome the fifth recipient, phycian in emergency medicine. he cares for all paties who present through the emergency department. doctor chester refers to
ysicians to diagnose a pient with covid-19 and is responsible for safely discharging a patient either to home or admitting them to the hospital. from the critical care unit, welcome, doctor chester. >> hello, welcome. can i please confirm thathis is your name and birthday in the folder? >> that is correct. >> and we have previously consented and provided you with education regarding the pfizer vaccine for covid-19. do you have any questions or concerns? >> io not. >> okay. [background sounds]
congratulations. you are very welcome. >> it is my honor to celebrate the first five vaccinated individuals at george washington university hospital. and we look forward to vaccinating many more. thank you all for being here today as we begin our exciting new vaccination process. and i am pleased to welcome the mayor of the district of columbia. [applause] >> thank you. well, good afternoon, everyone. i am delighted to be here and i want to thank you, secretary azar, surgeon general. thank you for your leadership.
and to all the wonderful doctors and nurses and healthcare professionals here at washington, d.c. george washington university. please, give them all a hand. [applause] >> we are very happy today. i gave my briefing about covid and certainly we all can recall how difficult the last nine months have been in fighting this global pandemic. we are very grateful to the people of washington, d.c., the business owners of washington, d.c. who have heated our advice and helped us to best contain the virus as much as possible to get us to this day. the day when the vaccine starts going out, people start getting the vaccine and get all of their questions answered so they can inoculate themselves and their families from the covid-19 vaccine. today i was with one of the first responders, actually
several. members of the dc fire and ems and they will be among the first government workers who are part of the medical community who will be inoculated starting this thursday. the stories we heard from them is they are doing it for their citiecity so they can do out ano their job safely. they are doing it for their own families, so when they go out to work each day exposing themselves, they know that they are not then exposing their families and they are doing it so we can get back to normal just as soon as possible. i'm grateful for what i know has been a scientific effort, logistics effort and now i want all of us to make sure we are communicating to our neighbors, our family and friends and especially right now the healthcare workers in our lives that we have a safe and
effective vaccine and we need to get to using it so thank you very much for hosting us today. thank you, mr. secretary for all of the work that i know thousands of people have been engaged in to get us here to this day. and i would be remiss if i didn't remind everybody let's have a safe holiday. the best way to have a safe holiday is to wear your mask and stay at home. thank you, everybody. [applause] next we will have sec. azar provide some closing remarks. thank you for being here. we are delighted to be with you today. thanks to president trump's sponsorship and support of operation work speed, hope and help are on the way. the vaccines use all distributed are going to be the light at the end of the tunnel. and i am so delighted to be here at gw to get to see our heroic
healthcare workers getting vaccinated and getting protection. it's so vital as the child of two healthcare providers to be able to see not just their doctors and nurses but our janitors, orderlies, receptionists in harm's way who enable the institutions and care for patients and that is what these vaccines to do. literally millions of doses right now are getting out there to the american people and by next week we believe we can be having a second vaccine and by christmas 20 million americans, by the end of this year, 20 million americans could be vaccinated by the end of januars could have had a first vaccination. by the end of february what you saw today could be replicated on hundred million times, 100 million shots between the first and booster vaccine.
practice washing your hands and washing your distance and where a face covering and you can't watch he your her distancing esy be very careful and mindful to avoid settings where you are not going to do those things, like indoor gatherings, indoor overcrowded restaurants and bars and household gatherings with individuals from other households, people from around the neighborhood. especially this holiday season we need to be vigilant. we want everybody here now to be here for next year's holiday season and thanks to the vaccine, that actually is possible so now isn't the time to let our guard down this is in the end of the battle against covid. but today marks a critical milestone towards the ultimate defeat of covid-19.