U.S. should expedite AstraZeneca vaccine authorization before new Covid variants unfold, Dr. Peter Hotez says

Dr. Peter Hotez advised CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that individuals within the U.S. should not develop into complacent due to dropping Covid instances, particularly amid new stories of a new variant, B.1.526, spreading in New York.

“We’re all high fiving ourselves because the numbers are going down, and I am saying that we are in the eye of the hurricane, and the next big wave is coming,” mentioned Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Average every day instances of coronavirus within the U.S. have dropped about 57%, in response to a CNBC evaluation of Johns Hopkins knowledge. Some states, nevertheless, usually are not seeing as sharp of a decline. Vermont is simply down 22% in common every day instances, New York down about 45%, Oregon almost 47%, and Florida is down 48% in every day common instances. Hotez singled Florida out for the prevalence of a extremely transmissible Covid variant within the state that was first discovered within the U.Okay.

“The one state that really intrigues me, not necessarily in a good way, is Florida, because we are hearing that about 10% of the virus isolates coming out of Florida is that B.117 variant that came out of the United Kingdom,” mentioned Hotez in a Wednesday night interview.

Hotez urged that now’s the time the U.S. should actually be making a push to vaccinate, particularly before extra Covid variants unfold. While AstraZeneca reported that it expects its vaccine to be licensed within the U.S. in April, Hotez mentioned, “I think sometimes we have to think about calling the audible” and should authorize it sooner. 

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