US Vaccine Train Won’t be Derailed, Warp Speed Leader Says

November 23, 2020by Elizabeth Dexheimer, Bloomberg News (TNS)
Three potential coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccines are kept in a tray at Novavax labs in Gaithersburg, Maryland on March 20, 2020, one of the labs developing a vaccine for the coronavirus. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

Efforts to speedily develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. won’t be derailed by a change in administration, said the head of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s program aimed at accelerating a COVID-19 jab.

“All decisions are made, the train is running. Whether one administration or the other doesn’t, frankly, make a difference,” Moncef Slaoui said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The operation “has been isolated from the administration, from the political environment, and the political context,” said Slaoui, a former head of GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccines operation.

Yet information on the program hasn’t been shared with the incoming Biden administration, he said, consistent with President Donald Trump’s failure to acknowledge his election loss.

“I have been informed that I should not be saying anything that’s confidential to anybody, including, you know, anybody that’s not part of the administration, and therefore, I’ll act according to what the legal requirements are.”

Surging COVID-19 infections and renewed lockdowns are causing renewed angst across the country. While an effective vaccine is expected to be widely distributed in 2021, there are still a number of hurdles before it can be widely distributed. Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have requested emergency authorization of their vaccine, but it could take at least three weeks for a U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision to move forward.

The U.S. reported 1,870 fatalities on Friday, in a week in which the death rate rapidly rose, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News.

The daily average of deaths over the past week is now 1,440, compared with 1,177 the week before. That’s the highest level since last spring, when the outbreak in New York and the northeast pushed fatalities to a daily peak of more than 2,600 in late April.

As the virus rages on, hospitals are filling up across the country. Even in the best case scenario of a timely vaccine approval, state governments will struggle to get the rampaging virus under control. And they must do so amid a chaotic transfer of presidential power and a lack of clear policy guidance. Making matters more challenging is the lack of confidence many Americans have in the safety of a vaccine.

Only about half of adults say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if one were available, according to a September survey from the Pew Research Center.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will issue recommendations on which segments of the population should receive the vaccine first, Slaoui said on NBC.

With 24 hours of an approval of a vaccine, the jabs “will be moving and located in the areas where each state will have told us where they want the vaccine doses,” he said.

___

(c)2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

_____

Health

Michigan House GOP Unveils Rebuttal to Whitmer’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan
State News
Michigan House GOP Unveils Rebuttal to Whitmer’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan
January 27, 2021
by Reece Nations

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan House Appropriations Committee Chairman Thomas Albert announced Republicans’ rebuttal to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed COVID-19 recovery plan.  The House Republicans’ plan would provide roughly $3.5 billion in federal and state funds for employers, families, schools and vaccine distribution, according to a statement... Read More

Merck Halts Work on Vaccine, Moderna Delivers 30.4 Million Doses to Feds
Business
Merck Halts Work on Vaccine, Moderna Delivers 30.4 Million Doses to Feds
January 27, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

Merck has withdrawn from the sprint to produce coronavirus vaccines after its two candidates failed to achieve strong results in preliminary trials. The first phase of clinical studies showed that even though the vaccine candidates were "well tolerated" the immune responses triggered by them were "inferior"... Read More

Biden Says He's ‘Bringing Back the Pros’ for Virus Briefings
Health
Biden Says He's ‘Bringing Back the Pros’ for Virus Briefings

WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly a year it was the Trump show. Now President Joe Biden is calling up the nation’s top scientists and public health experts to regularly brief the American public about the pandemic that has claimed more than 425,000 U.S. lives. Beginning Wednesday, administration experts... Read More

US Boosting Vaccine Deliveries Amid Complaints of Shortages
State News
US Boosting Vaccine Deliveries Amid Complaints of Shortages

Answering growing frustration over vaccine shortages, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. is ramping up deliveries to hard-pressed states over the next three weeks and expects to provide enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall. Biden,... Read More

New Study Warns of COVID-19’s Negative Impact on Rural Colleges and Communities
Education
New Study Warns of COVID-19’s Negative Impact on Rural Colleges and Communities
January 26, 2021
by Sara Wilkerson

A new study published by the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on underserved rural colleges and surrounding communities could endanger the stability of local economies, health care systems and social mobility for the foreseeable future.  The study, a research... Read More

Biden More Bullish on Vaccines, Open to 1.5M Daily Shot Goal
Health
Biden More Bullish on Vaccines, Open to 1.5M Daily Shot Goal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday appeared to boost his goal for coronavirus vaccinations in his first 100 days in office, suggesting the nation could soon be injecting 1.5 million shots on an average per day. Biden signaled his increasing bullishness on the pace... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top