Trump Covid-19 vaccine chief to meet with Biden team this week to discuss distribution plan

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, vaccine knowledgeable, delivers an replace on “Operation Warp Speed” within the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2020.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s coronavirus vaccine czar mentioned on Sunday that he’ll meet with President-elect Joe Biden this week to discuss vaccine rollouts anticipated within the U.S. this month. 

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief advisor of Operation Warp Speed, mentioned in late November that he had not met Biden or had any contact concerning a transition course of and vaccine distribution plan. 

Those feedback in November got here the day earlier than the Trump administration formally started the transition course of after weeks of stonewalling, lastly giving the Biden team entry to assets and knowledge.

Slaoui would be the newest high well being official to meet with the Biden team because the transition will get underway. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, agreed to function Biden’s chief medical advisor final week and met with the incoming administration.

The president-elect has criticized the Trump administration’s vaccine rollout plan and mentioned he is seen no detailed plan to distribute a vaccine to states.

“There is no detailed plan that we’ve seen, anyway, as to how you get the vaccine out of a container, into an injection syringe, into somebody’s arm,” Biden mentioned in Delaware final week. 

Slaoui pushed again on Biden’s remarks in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning, arguing there’s a detailed distribution plan however Biden’s transition team hasn’t but been totally briefed.

Biden mentioned he would mandate masking carrying on all federal property and interstate transportation when sworn in, and would additionally ask folks to put on a masks for 100 days to mitigate the virus’ unfold.

The U.S. is reporting a weekly common of greater than 2,000 coronavirus deaths daily, the worst loss of life toll for the reason that pandemic started, in accordance to knowledge from Johns Hopkins University, as infections surge throughout the nation and document hospitalizations add strain on the health-care system.  

Slaoui mentioned he thinks a vaccine will probably be lengthy lasting, between 2 to three years, “prolonging our protection for many years.” In a separate interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Slaoui mentioned he is assured that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are protected with “no serious adverse side effects” reported from trials. 

“It’s absolutely vital that everybody take comfort in the fact that we have light at the end of the tunnel, and find the energy in that to continue to wear our masks, distance, wash our hands, pay attention to what we’re doing to make sure we’re there by the spring to benefit from the vaccine,” Slaoui mentioned. 

The first cargo of vaccines will begin the day after the U.S. Food and Drug administration authorizes the vaccine within the U.S., in accordance to Slaoui. The FDA is ready to maintain hearings on whether or not or not to authorize the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines later this month. 

“Based on the data that I know, I expect the FDA to make a positive decision,” Slaoui mentioned. “But of course, it’s their decision.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Alex Azar on Sunday informed ABC’s “This Week” that Americans may see an FDA authorization inside days and he expects a “more general” vaccination in February and March.

However, well being researchers warn that Covid-19 deaths may practically double by April even with a nationwide vaccine rollout and that merely rising mask-wearing would save 66,000 lives by April 1.

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