President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday that he had asked Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier in the day to stay on in his role and to be a chief medical adviser in Biden's incoming administration. 

"I asked him to stay on in the exact same role he's had for the past several presidents, and I asked him to be a chief medical adviser for me as well, and be part of the Covid team," Biden told CNN's Jake Tapper in the first joint interview of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris since being elected.

Biden added that Ron Klain, the incoming White House chief of staff, knew Fauci well and had been talking to him "all the time." Speaking on NBC's "Today" show Friday morning, Fauci said he accepted the offer "right on the spot."

Fauci previously told CNN that he had worked "very closely" with Klain during the Ebola outbreak when Klain was tasked with coordinating the Obama administration's response to the crisis. He praised Klain as an “ excellent choice” for White House chief of staff and said he was,  “ Absolutely terrific at the Ebola situation, where we had a very successful ultimate endgame with Ebola.”

Fauci told CNN later Thursday that he had an hour-long meeting at the White House that day with Biden's agency review team. Team members who met with Fauci with included Jeffrey Zients, Biden's choice for coronavirus czar, as well as two co-chairs of Biden's 12-member coronavirus advisory board: Dr. David Kessler, the former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, and former US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. 

Among the topics they discussed were vaccine distribution and the state of the pandemic, according to Fauci, who said it was a good meeting and that it is “ the way transition should work."

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NIAID Director

Dr. Fauci was appointed Director of NIAID in 1984. He oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola and Zika. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies. The NIAID budget for fiscal year 2020 is an estimated $5.9 billion.

Dr. Fauci has advised six Presidents on HIV/AIDS and many other domestic and global health issues. He was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program that has saved millions of lives throughout the developing world.

Laboratory of Immunoregulation

Dr. Fauci also is the long-time chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation (LIR). He has made many contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of immune-mediated and infectious diseases. He helped pioneer the field of human immunoregulation by making important basic scientific observations that underpin the current understanding of the regulation of the human immune response.





The facts and fake fraudulent science about vaccination by some people with no medical nor scientific experience promoting ANTI-VACCINE PROTOCOLS caused severe harm including death because their comments and stupid thinking deterred others from vaccinations.   This will be a critical subject when the most important vaccines will be offered against COVID-19.  World wide we broke one and half million who have died. Estimate in the US will be close to 560,000 dead.

I fear our great nation is unfortunately composed of a share of some people who follow idiots, religious nutcases, morons, sooth sayers, snake oil salesmen and anything their weak and naive minds can fathom.  It is the fall and with winter approaching, the levels of contamination and exposure will rise due to more people gathering indoors and air circulation by heaters and or air conditioning reversals.  

Death is caused by mis-information, lies, a lack of intellect, religious mistakes, outsiders, and corrupt individuals, basically the former Republican party now called Reptilians…

The United States Anti-Vaccination Movement is composed of a variety of individuals ranging from mis-informed mentally stupid former doctors who should know better, to semi-celebrities who have no medical training, to anti-government conspiracy theorists who distrust anything that the government says. 

😇  Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Team Of Professionals And Qualified Scientists
Biden has cast the escalating Covid-19 crisis as a priority for his incoming administration. The task force, he said, would quickly consult with state and local health officials on how to best prevent COVID-19 spread, reopen schools and businesses, and address the racial disparity.

“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said in a statement Monday. “The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”

David Kessler, co-chair, former FDA commissioner

Marcella Nunez-Smith, co-chair, Yale associate dean for health equity research 

Vivek Murthy, co-chair, former surgeon general 

Luciana Borio, former assistant FDA commissioner 

Rick Bright, former BARDA directorVaccines

Zeke Emanuel, former Obama administration health policy adviser

Atul Gawande, Brigham and Women’s hospital professor of surgery 

Celine Gounder, NYU Grossman School of Medicine assistant professor

Dr. Julie Morita, former Chicago public health commissioner 

Michael Osterholm, Dir. of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy - University of Minnesota

Loyce Pace, executive director of the Global Health Council

Dr. Robert Rodriguez, UCSF emergency medicine professor 

Eric Goosby, former Ryan White Care Act director

This is the support team dealing with information and working with states.  The task force also includes a variety of other well-known doctors and academics, among them Zeke Emanuel, a former Obama administration health care adviser, and Celine Gounder, a physician and medical journalist with years of experience combating HIV and tuberculosis outbreaks. 

Separately, the Biden transition announced that it had appointed two health advisers who will guide the incoming administration’s Covid-19 preparations but will not serve on the task force. One of those advisers, Beth Cameron, is the former director of a White House biodefense council that Trump has been criticized for closing in 2017. The other, Rebecca Katz, is a well-known Georgetown global health security professor. 

Despite the task force’s breadth, it does not include several figures still seen as likely to play major roles in the Biden administration’s Covid-19 effort, including Joshua Sharfstein, the former deputy FDA commissioner, and Nicole Lurie, the Obama administration’s assistant health secretary for preparedness and response.They may be slated for other positions.


SIDEBAR:   No T-RUMP, His Family, Giuliani, No Rand Paul, No Lindsey Graham, No Dr. Steller, No Dr. Atlas, No Plowman, No Witch Doctors, Shaman, Soothsayers, Scumbags,  Pricks,  Corrupt GOP Senators nor Congressmen and Congresswomen, No TV Fake Dr’s, Anti-Vaxxers, Members of T-RUMPS Cabinet, Evangelicals, Marco Rubio, Louie Gohmert, Jordan, Nunes, Any Fox Employee, Vladimir Putin, Ho Chi Min, Kim Jung Un, Boris and Natasha, and all the Preachers Al has investigated in the Theology fraud section… Well just about any other frickin idiot with an opinion not based on fact or fake information who spreads lies and I guess who is next… is a Reptilian ( The New GOP)

3/7/2021   With every Covid-19 vaccination, the United States inches closer to defeating the pandemic that has killed over half a million Americans and left countless more with long-term complications. 

But major challenges stand in the way. Some Americans are ditching personal responsibility and forgoing masks, even though the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant has spread to at least 46 states and Washington, DC. 

"That strain is increasing exponentially. It's spiking up," said Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious diseases specialist and epidemiologist. "So we are probably right now on a tipping point of another surge."

And the current rate of vaccinations might not be fast enough to fend off a major B.1.1.7 surge in the coming weeks. 

"At 2.9 to 3 million doses of vaccine a day over the next six to 14 weeks, when this surge is likely to happen, is not going to really take care of the problem at all," Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. 

Osterholm said the US should take a lesson from Europe, which has struggled with the B.1.1.7 strain after it was first detected in the United Kingdom. 

Just one month ago, B.1.1.7 made up around 4% of coronavirus cases in the US, among those that have undergone genomic sequencing. "Today, it's up to 30 to 40%," Osterholm told NBC on Sunday. “And what we've seen in Europe, when we hit that 50% mark, you'll see cases surge." 

Still Hovering At Very High Numbers  —  
After weeks of declines, new Covid-19 cases have basically plateaued at high levels each day. 

On average, more than 60,000 Americans were infected every day over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University. That's slightly less than the peak of the summer surge, when 67,030 infections were reported on July 20.

The US shouldn't loosen coronavirus restrictions until daily new cases fall below 10,000, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. 

He said it's "inexplicable" that some states are rolling back safety measures such as mask mandates, when masks are needed to help fend off B.1.1.7 and other concerning variants

"I understand the need to want to get back to normality, but you're only going to set yourself back if you just completely push aside the public health guidelines -- particularly when we're dealing with anywhere from 55 (thousand) to 70,000 infections per day in the United States," Fauci said. 

Despite health leaders’ warnings, several state leaders announced they were easing Covid-19 restrictions. 

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced last week he was lifting the statewide mask mandate and doing away with any capacity limits on businesses starting this Wednesday  
  • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves also said he was lifting all county mask mandates and would allow businesses to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules. 
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced revisions to public health orders on Tuesday, including dropping a 300-person limit for events at banquet centers. On Thursday, he said that when the state reaches 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders will be lifted. 
  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled a series of eased restrictions, including expanded capacity for restaurants, retail, gyms, stadiums and other facilities.
  • In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards also loosened restrictions. The majority of businesses — including restaurants and salons -- are now allowed to operate at 75% capacity, while religious services no longer have capacity limits.
  • On Friday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also said he was lifting occupancy limits on businesses — including restaurants, gyms and theaters. 
  • West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said restaurants, bars, gyms and museums could start operating at 100% capacity. Justice also upped the social gathering limit to 100 people. 
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order Friday rescinding the face covering requirements in state government offices, buildings and facilities as well as in restaurants. 
  • And in California, all of the state’s amusement parks, including Disneyland, Magic Mountain and Universal Studios along with sports and concert venues will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity starting April 1, Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said Friday. 
  • “We feel like now is the appropriate time to begin to reintroduce these activities in some fashion, and in a guarded way, in a slow and steady way," Ghaly said. 

Months Away From Most Americans Getting Vaccinated  —  As of Sunday, more than 58.8 million Americans have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.About 30.6 million have received two doses of a vaccine and that’s about 9.2% of the US population.

Health experts say it’s critical to get as many people vaccinated as possible before highly contagious variants potentially overwhelm the country.  The good news: All three vaccines being used in the US "work really well" against the troubling B.1.1.7 variant, said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

And research published Thursday shows the B.1.1.7 strain can hide a bit from the immune system, but not enough to decrease the value of vaccines significantly. And it doesn't threaten to reinfect people who have recovered from the previous dominant strain of the virus. 

“These findings indicate that variant B.1.1.7 is unlikely to be a major concern for current vaccines or for an increased risk of reinfection," the researchers wrote in a report published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.

So by doubling down on safety precautions and people getting vaccinated as soon as they're able to, the US can defeat the B.1.1.7 strain and get back to normal life, faster.

And Add The Catholic Bishops Conference  — Dear Pointy Hats —
(CNN) As officials and health experts race to get Americans vaccinated against Covid-19, some Catholic bishops have weighed in to discourage Church members from getting the latest, single-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson when alternatives are available.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as at least 6 other dioceses from across the country have released statements expressing "moral concerns" over the shot due to its use of lab-grown cells that descend from cells taken in the 1980s from the tissue of aborted fetuses.

The vaccine is the third to be authorized for use in the United States. Unlike its predecessors -- from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna -- the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one shot and can be kept at normal refrigerator temperatures, making it easy to transport.   Health experts have cautioned that Americans should get the vaccine they are offered. 

"If people are offered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, they shouldn't say, 'I don't want it,'" Dr. Paul Goepfert, director of the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic, said last month. "We are not in a scenario where we can pick and choose vaccines."

Prior to the US emergency use authorization for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the doctrinal office for the Roman Catholic Church -- the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- said that "it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process." 

The new statement from the Conference of Bishops is at odds with a note approved by Pope Francis, who received a vaccine in January. The December note said that "the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive."

In a statement to CNN, Johnson & Johnson said: "We are proud to bring our COVID-19 vaccine to the world and to contribute to ending this pandemic. Our single-shot COVID-19 vaccine uses an inactivated non-infective adenovirus vector -- similar to a cold virus -- that codes for the coronavirus "spike" (S) protein, and there is no fetal tissue in the vaccine.

"We are able to manufacture hundreds of millions of doses using our engineered cell-line system and look forward to delivering those doses around the world and help meet the critical need."

The White House on Wednesday pushed back on the statement from the Conference of Bishops.  An administration official pointed CNN toward the Vatican statement from December, adding that the Biden administration is also “ Addressing hesitancy and working with local messengers on how to address that, including with religious leaders.”  President Joe Biden is a practicing Catholic.

Dear Cardinals, Bishop Acolytes, Pointy Hats And Pedophiles  —
Work on what you should be doing,  recruiting new money givers at 10%,  scaring the BeJesus out of people, threatening to throw people out, protecting the faith, keeping the coffers, making Giant Gold Shrines and churches and holding dearly onto the billions the Catholic Church collects that the poor never get to see.   

And for those on TV pour less wine and more water.  You have no skills in medicine, no skills in politics and should not be involved in either.  And I seriously doubt most of your moral capacity.  The Vatican needs to have transparency, it doesn’t. You cared less about the children and your flock of flocked-up priests went pedophilia run ramparts and all you did was transfer them and hide it under the table.  And that lasted as long as their has been your variant of church. You are not angels and carry the responsibility same as our former President to protect and serve and you have failed miserably.  You are no better than him…

You should be doing what you should do, keep your hands off the children, no brainwashing or Pedophilia in any form of  no conceptual actions including your youth ministers, and other clergy affiliated with your church.

Since you are more of a business than a hand of God start paying taxes….

What have you done to /with /nothing / transferred  the thousands of Priests and Church officials who are Pedophiles?  You swept it all under the rug so deep you hit the basement.  We who researched doubt seriously those you offered hush and settlement money to,  is the real amount, some feel its four times what you stated.  You are the guilty ones for the heartless pain you have done etc to thousands with lies and deceit.

Stay where you belong,  many have their eyes on you awaiting the Pedophoellia problem, never resolved in totem before you screw with science and the delays you create from the mis-information kill some.   Thats on your hands, and it won’t be the Blood of Christ, it will be an innocent who listened to your information…  

What We Do Know  —  Viruses are constantly changing, and this includes SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These genetic variations occur over time and can lead to the emergence of new variants that may have different characteristics.

The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes instructions organized into sections, called genes, to build the virus. Scientists use a process called genomic sequencing to decode the genes and learn more about the virus. Genomic sequencing allows scientists to identify SARS-CoV-2 and monitor how it changes over time into new variants, understand how these changes affect the characteristics of the virus, and use this information to predict how it might impact health.

Reasonable Thinking — No Conspiracies  — Screwing With Mother Nature —
People forget we live in a global world, we interact with those of differnt cultures and one who is broad minded and scientifically educated enough understands this. But with this co-mingling, the food world trading and those who cheat at it, rising population, closeness, global warming and severe weather changes, poverty, food shortages, assimilation of territory usually devoted to animals, tropical forests delineated,  and the list goes on and on, let me tell you a secret… 

People Will Die  
—  Scientifically, global warming caused by earth shift changes, ignorance,non-compliance and emotional change caused by poverty are the keys… And the ignition of conspiracies and the Senate fire department are both run by politicians, who do nothing but cause harm and many should be disposed of.  I do not mean retirement. Exterminated, not evacuated, hanged and hung out to dry instead of retirement.

Mixing, containment, exposure of differnt species may contribute to Pandemics.  COVID-19 is a Pandemic caused by a spore that mitigated from Bats who probably got it from parasites and then matriculated to man.  Open air live food pens with a myriad of species on display as were banned in Hunan might have caused the whole thing.  

Ebola Is Back And Ebola Came From Eating Monkey Meat  —  COVID-19 is just another example of intra specie contamination.  Discovered in 2016, the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. The viruses that cause EVD are located mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. People can get EVD through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person infected with Ebola virus.

Humans may spread the virus to other humans through contact with bodily fluids such as blood.  Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, and chills. Later, a person may experience internal bleeding resulting in vomiting or coughing blood.  Treatment is supportive hospital care.

Health officials in Guinea are rushing to contain the first outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in the region since 2016, days after authorities detected new cases of the hemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo, testing a continent that is already battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Guinea was one of the three most-affected countries during the 2014-2016 epidemic. The current outbreak began in late January, but was only identified as the Ebola virus on Sunday, health officials said, suggesting it may have spread substantially in the intervening weeks.

The outbreak four years ago left more than 11,000 dead across West Africa. The new outbreak comes as the continent grapples with a steady rise of coronavirus infection rates, driven at least in part by a more transmissible variant first detected in South Africa

The outbreak also comes shortly after Congo, which has faced more Ebola outbreaks than any other nation in the world, also detected cases in the restive region of North Kivu. Health experts hope the availability of an Ebola vaccine will help bring the outbreak swiftly under control.

The SARS-CoV-2 has first been reported from the pneumonia patients of the Wuhan city in Hubei province of China. These patients were involved in trading at a wet animal market in the Huanan area. It is believed that SARS-CoV-2 is introduced from the animal kingdom to human populations during November or December 2019, as revealed from the phylogeny of the genomic sequences from the initially reported cases. 

The spillover of SARS-CoV-2 from animals to humans took place at the beginning of December 2019, and the clinical cases appeared around ending December. Genetic analysis showed that this novel virus is closely related to bat CoVs and is similar but distinct from the SARS virus. 

Several evidences based on genome sequences, the homology of the ACE2 receptor, and the presence of single intact ORF on gene 8 indicate bats as a natural reservoir of these viruses. However, an unknown animal is yet to be unravelled as an intermediate host.  Initial investigations on animal source origin of SARS-CoV-2 have inconclusively revealed snakes , pangolins, and turtles. 

The rapid spread of COVID-19 followed the initial animal to human spillover through human-to-human transmission. Genetic epidemiology had revealed that the spread from the beginning of December when the first cases were retrospectively traced in Wuhan was mainly by a human-to-human transmission and not due to continued spillover. 

These species cross jumping, spillover, and rapid transmission events are linked to viral characteristics, host diversity, and environmental feasibility.Coronaviruses being RNA viruses have high mutation rates that, besides creating new strains, enable them to adapt to a wide range of hosts. Hence, based on genome sequences, all known human CoVs have emerged from animal sources. 

Even Newer Mutations —  This seventh member of the human COVID-19 has also been isolated initially from the pneumonia patients who were having direct or indirect links to the Hunan seafood market in Wuhan China, wherein other animals were also being sold. These include a 49-year-old lady retailer in this wet animal market, a 61-year-old frequent visitor to this market, and a 32-year-old man.  Further, isolation of the SARS-CoV-2 from the environmental samples around this market, including people, animals, soil, discharges, or structures, strengthens the claims of involvement of hosts either as a reservoir or intermediate.

Furthermore, along with dogs and cats, the zoo animals like tigers and lions were also reported to get the SARS-CoV-2 infection and exhibit clinical signs such as vomiting, diarrhoea, dry cough, breathing difficulty and wheezing.  Spillover of SARS-CoV-2 was also reported in mink farms of Netherlands, further increasing the concern of transmission to humans. Outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 were reported in two mink farms holding 12,000 and 7500 animals. The virus is suspected to be introduced by a farmworker having COVID-19 .

Host-pathogen interactions and pathogenesis determine the severity and expression of disease  Adaptation over time reduces the severity of infection as happened with HCoVs; 
However, the emergence of novel viruses or strains due to genetic alterations or recombinations can enhance hardness producing novel diseases like COVID-19.  Evolutionarily, the balance of viral-human interaction and immune response against virus enables adaptation, thereby persistence in a host without severe or symptomatic disease when the aggravated pathogenesis results in mortality. Hence, loss of sustainable hosts and transmission to novel hosts becomes inevitable for future sustainability.  A pathogen cannot kill all its hosts, and for future sustainability, it adapts to some suitable host or spills over to a new host.

Zoonotic Spillover  
—  SARS-CoV-2 has been implicated to be originated from animals, and associated with animal linkages, spillover events, cross-species barrier jumping and zoonosis.  Since the beginning of 2002 till the end of 2019, three coronaviruses viz. SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 have caused havoc in the human population globally and will continue to do so. 

Earlier identified betacoronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV) were reported in Guangdong province of China in November 2002 and Saudi Arabia in 2012, respectively. SARS-CoV-2 is the third zoonotic betacoronaviruses recognized in this century.

  T-Rump - Bad News As We Learn More About What Trump Failed To Do —

QUESTION:  The problem, where are the drugs T-RUMP, The Task Farce and Cabinet Members told us were shipping ?

ANS:  The numbers were lies, just overly cooked estimates, they don’t exist, T-RUMP lied, as expected, The TASK FARCE lied, Secretary Navarro lied, HHS Secretary Azar lied… a bigly amount.  I never believed this guy Azar, well polished and smelled like too much perfume.  Pour all the perefume you want, he is still a lying scumbag.

T-RUMP bullshiters words, he is just as big a con as T-RUMP and after his update came his resignation, another bunch of bullsh*t lies and members of the former COVID TASK FARCE are not believable with the exception of Dr. Fauci.  So far Dr Blix has not been selected by Biden though she offered.  She was too complacent

Pfizer, Moderna Johnson and Johnson in Trials,  Amazing Russian Sputnick Vaccine @ 91%,  Johnson and Johnson coming but might be limited,   Astra Zeneca still inventing the wheel, I have dealt with them before over another drug and they need some organization, , Limited usage and others… 

  • Hope And this week, OWS officials expected millions Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to be distributed. 
  • Drug-maker Moderna has 5.9-million doses going to 3,400 locations…
  • 2.1-million Pfizer vaccines are going to 1,000 locations today and tomorrow, Perna said. 
  • He added that the vaccines will continue to be ordered on a repetitive basis.  
  • SEVERE TRUTH WARNING:   Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II said in his update.  (AKA—The Bastard of COVID Bullsh*t)   “ I look forward to receiving this vaccine myself in the coming days as part of our efforts to demonstrate to Americans that these vaccines are safe and incredibly effective at preventing COVID-19”. 

CDC  — Ok Mixing Pfizer And Moderna Shots In “ Exceptional Situations

FRI, JAN 22 20214:54 PM EST  —  In rare circumstances,   it’s OK for people to receive one shot of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine and one shot of Moderna’s vaccine at least 28 days apart, the CDC said in updated guidance.  But t

The agency says the two products are not interchangeable.  And The CDC acknowledged that it hadn’t yet studied whether its new recommendations would change the safety or effectiveness of either vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly changed its guidance on Covid-19 vaccine shots, saying it’s now OK to mix Pfizer’s and Moderna’s shots in “exceptional situations” and that it’s also fine to wait up to six weeks to get the second shot of either company’s two-dose immunization.

While Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines, which both use messenger RNA technology, were authorized to be given 21 and 28 days apart, respectively, the agency now says you can receive either shot so long as they are given at least 28 days apart, according to new guidance posted Thursday on its website.

Although “every effort” should be made to ensure a patient receives the same vaccine, in rare situations “any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses” — if supplies are limited or the patient doesn’t know which vaccine they originally received, the CDC’s new guidance says.

The agency says the two products are not interchangeable, and acknowledged that it hadn’t yet studied whether its new recommendations would change the safety or effectiveness of either vaccine. But vaccine research specialists who spoke with CNBC said that the two immunizations are so similar in design that people shouldn’t be worried about the rare instances in which the doses will be mixed.

“The intent is not to suggest people do anything different, but provide clinicians with flexibility for exceptional circumstances,” Jason McDonald, a spokesman for CDC, said Friday in an email to CNBC.

The CDC said health-care providers should give patients a vaccination record card that tells them when they received their first shot and which kind of shot it was to help ensure that patients know which shot they ought to receive the second time. The agency also recommends that providers enter the patient’s vaccination information into their medical records and the government’s immunization information system.

Ramon Lorenzo Redondo, a molecular virologist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine who reviewed the CDC’s updated guidance, said health-care providers should try to stick to the recommended schedule. But, he added, there will be some “emergency situations” like the ones described by the CDC that might require switching of the shots.

While there’s no data on this and it’s certainly not the optimal route, he said, it’s unlikely to be damaging so it’s a reasonable protocol.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are “extraordinarily similar,” Dr. Bill Schaffner, an epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University, said in a phone interview, so there’s no reason to think that there would be any adverse reaction to mixing the vaccines. It was important for the CDC to put out this guidance, Schaffner said, because the vaccine registry systems across the country, which are run by states, vary in quality. So some information may be lost, leaving people unaware of which vaccine they received. He added that some people might travel across state lines and receive their second dose in a different state, further complicating the matter.

Variant Information  —  For example, some variant viruses are of particular concern because they spread easier, cause more severe disease, or may escape the body’s immune response.

As CDC and public health partners sequence more SARS-CoV-2 genomes, we will improve our understanding of which variants are circulating in the US, how quickly variants emerge, and which variants are the most important to characterize and track in terms of health.

Genes in the SARS-CoV-2 genome that contain instructions to build parts of the virus are shown in different colors. For example, the brown section in the picture has genetic instructions to build the Spike protein, which then allows the virus to attach to human cells during infection. This section of the genome serves as a key region for monitoring mutations.

How Do Variants Occur?

The virus genome is packed inside an envelope that contains proteins, including the Spike protein.

Mutations are changes in the genetic code of a virus that naturally occur over time when an animal or person is infected. While a certain amount of genetic variation is expected to occur as SARS-CoV-2 spreads, it’s important to monitor circulating viruses for key mutation(s) that happen in important regions of the genome. 

Many mutations do not affect the virus’s ability to spread or cause disease because they do not alter the major proteins involved in infection; eventually these are outcompeted by variants with mutations that are more beneficial for the virus.

What is CDC doing to track SARS-CoV-2 variants  —  In the United States, CDC tracks emerging variants through genomic surveillance with the following approaches:

🏥 Virus Solid Icon  —  Leading the National SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance (NS3) system:  —  Since November 2020, CDC regularly receives SARS-CoV-2 samples from state health departments and other public health agencies for sequencing, further characterization, and evaluation. On January 25, 2021, the NS3 system was scaled-up to process 750 samples per week. Notable strength of this system is the regular collection of numerous representative specimens from across the country and characterization of viruses beyond what sequencing alone can provide.

🏥 Lab Icon  —  Partnering with commercial diagnostic laboratories

CDC is contracting with large commercial diagnostic labs to sequence samples across the United States. CDC has commitments from these laboratories to sequence 6,000 samples per week, with the capacity to scale up in response to the nation’s needs.

🏥 Landmark Icon  —  Collaborating with universities:

CDC has contracts with seven universities to conduct genomic surveillance research in collaboration with public health agencies. The studies are meant to provide deeper insights into viral genomics and molecular epidemiology within the various regions across the country.

🏥 USA Map Icon  —  Supporting State, territorial, local and tribal health departments

Since 2014, CDC’s Advanced Molecular Detection Program has been integrating next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics capabilities into the US public health system. Several state and local health departments have been applying these resources as part of their response to COVID-19. Public health departments support local investigations, conduct studies, and make genomic data available to public databases. To further support these efforts, on December 18, 2020, CDC released $15 million from COVID supplemental funds through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Program.

🏥 Leading the SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology, and Surveillance (SPHERES) consortium  -  Since early in the pandemic, CDC has led a national consortium of laboratories sequencing SARS-CoV-2 (SPHERES). The SPHERES consortium consists of more than 160 institutions, including academic centers, industry, non-governmental organizations, and public health agencies. Through this coordination, genomic data are made available through public databases for use by public health professionals, researchers, and industry.

Why Is Genomic Surveillance Important For Public Health?
Routine analysis of genetic sequence data enables CDC and its public health partners to identify and characterize variant viruses—either new ones identified here or those already identified abroad—and to investigate how variants impact COVID-19 disease severity and how variants impact the effectiveness of vaccines and therapeutics.

Surveillance of emerging variants can help detect variant with:

  • Ability to spread more quickly in people
  • Ability to cause either milder or more severe disease in people
  • Ability to evade detection by specific diagnostic tests 
    Many commercial nucleic acid amplification tests that use reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) have multiple targets to detect the virus, such that even if a mutation impacts one of the targets, the other RT-PCR targets will still work. However, there are some tests that rely on only one target, and mutations may impact their ability to work. FDA is using public health sequencing data to monitor mutations and their impact on confidential/proprietary diagnostic test designs.
  • Decreased susceptibility to therapeutics that employ monoclonal antibodies
    Such therapy involves specifically designed antibodies that target regions of the virus to block infection. Because these treatments are more specific than natural immune response-generated antibodies, they may be less effective against variants that emerge.
  • Ability to evade natural or vaccine-induced immunity 
    Both natural infection with and vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 produce a “polyclonal” antibody response that targets several parts of the spike protein. The virus would need to accumulate significant mutations in the spike protein to evade immunity induced by vaccines or by natural infection.

Among these possibilities, the ability to evade vaccine-induced immunity would be the most concerning. There is no definitive evidence yet that this is occurring, but scientists are closely evaluating this possibility.