On Tuesday the vice president’s press secretary Kirsten Allen released the following statement, “Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on rapid and PCR tests. She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the Vice President’s residence.”
“She has not been a close contact to the President or First Lady due to their respective recent travel schedules. She will follow CDC guidelines and the advice of her physicians. The Vice President will return to the White House when she tests negative.”
As the statement said, Harris is asymptomatic but under recommendations from her doctors she is being treated with Paxlovid, a covid-19 antiviral medication. “Today, after consultation with her physicians, the Vice President was prescribed and has taken Paxlovid,” Allen tweeted.
In December the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Pfizer Emergency Use Authorization for its antiviral, the first given such permission that could be taken orally. The covid-19 pill was shown 89% efficacy in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients in clinical trials.
The Pfizer pills, which require a doctor’s prescription, are to be taken every 12 hours for five days from the onset of symptoms. The FDA has authorized its use for the treatment of mild to moderate covid-19 in people 12 and older who are at high risk of severe illness.
Harris is fully vaccinated and double boosted
In January 2021, President Biden’s number two has received the two-dose regimen of the Moderna covid-19 vaccine. She also received two booster jabs, the first in October and the second at the beginning of April. Although the covid-19 vaccines have proven themselves to be extremely effective they aren’t a silver bullet.
However, those who are vaccinated are much less likely to have severe illness, be hospitalized or die from a covid-19 infection. This became especially evident during the surges from the Delta variant and later the Omicron variant when hospitals were primarily being overwhelmed by those who still hadn’t gotten their shots.
Harris tested positive just before meeting with Biden
Harris was at the White House to attend an intelligence briefing on Tuesday morning with Biden. However upon arriving at the White House she was given both a rapid and a PCR test which both gave positive results. According to a statement she did not take part in any events or meetings while at the presidential residence.